Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Today the City of Buffalo announced the start of their next big road rehabilitation project.
"Just from Niagara Square to Virginia Street, there are about 12,000 vehicles that pass down Niagara Street every single day in the City of Buffalo," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "This is an important gateway in to our community."
However, for years Niagara Street has sat in a state of disrepair.
On Tuesday, the city announced that a $16.3 Million renovation of Niagara Street between South Elmwood and Porter Ave. will take place over the next three years.
Brown says when it's finished, the road will be a much better place for cars and pedestrians. "It will certainly have more of a boulevard type of look and feel. We want to calm the traffic. There were areas of Niagara Street where it was very difficult for pedestrians to cross safely."
Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak detailed the first phase of the construction, which will span from Virginia Street to South Elmwood, and is expected to be finished by next summer. "The work that's going to be starting this week is going to be from South Elmwood down to Virginia, that's the $2.8 Million portion that's going to take place. You're going to have bike lanes, greenscape amenities, it's going to really beautify the area and also make it welcoming to others who come in to say 'Hey, Buffalo's looking good.'"
Brown commented on why some might think it took a while for Niagara Street to see repairs.
"As you can well imagine when you talk about how long it took to do these repairs, assembling all of this money took a while. $16.3 Million is a lot of money, it's not easy to assemble."
The entire project is currently scheduled to be completed by late 2017.