It was a hearing on the transportation portion of the proposed state budget. Joan McDonald, commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), fielding questions from state lawmakers.
State Senator Tim Kennedy asking about the review of the Skyway over Buffalo's waterfront during that hearing.
"Can you talk about the scope of the study, where you are in the process, the timeline on when you'll be releasing the findings of the study?" Kennedy asked of McDonald.
The process is underway, replied the DOT Commissioner.
"What we are looking at is ... from a very macro perspective what the impact could be on the city of Buffalo if the Skyway were to come down from a traffic and pedestrian movement," McDonald said.
McDonald also said she'd be happy to present the findings in Buffalo when they're available.
Current maintenance of the Skyway will cost the state about $117 million over the next 20 years, according to Kennedy's office. Some estimate the maintenance costs will be more than the overall cost to demolish the structure and complete alternate routes.
The DOT currently rates the Skyway as "structurally deficient" while the Federal Highway Administration rates the bridge "functionally obsolete." Proposals to remove the structure would likely yield a cost savings to the state and spur private investment and economic growth along Buffalo's Outer Harbor, according to Kennedy's office.
In addition to the Skyway issue, the state also intends to forward millions in funding for infrastructure projects before the fiscal year is over, McDonald said during the hearing.