Mayor Paul Dyster says this is significant for those who want more waterfront access in the cataract city. He adds it could lead to significant redevelopment of the city, possibly leading to some of the billion for Buffalo. Dyster adds this should appease environmentalists, those with business interests, and residents.
Plans announced Wednesday call for the Robert Moses Parkway to be replaced with a low-speed, two-lane parkway that's set back hundreds of yards from the rim of the gorge. That will allow for construction of a hiking trail and other improvements designed to improve access to the scenic landscape.
Officials say public input will be gathered as the design and planning move forward. Construction could be two years away.
The highway was built in the 1960s with scenic views for motorists in mind. But now it's seen as a contributing factor to the decline of Niagara Falls.
Congressman Brian Higgins issued this statement:
“This is a huge step forward in the desperately needed effort to reconnect the City of Niagara Falls with its waterfront. Niagara Falls is an icon recognized worldwide, matched only by natural treasures along the likes of the Grand Canyon. Yet, the home community for the Falls is struggling, to say the least. This city deserves to reap the economic benefits of all the grandness the Falls provides.”
“Niagara Falls deserves a waterfront it can be proud of and the New York Power Authority has the means and the responsibility to swiftly move this from a review to results. NYPA planned it, they built it and they still own this property today. This is a good start but NYPA must be a willing partner working to get this done.”