Jun 19, 2014|
Skyway Fate - Congressman Brian Higgins
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Congressman Brian Higgins is with us now on the WB and lifeline to talk more about buffalo skyway one of the long questionnaire debates. Has been on this project and Brian thanks for the time. Good to be with you at what time were in favor of tearing this guy weighed down but does it -- that we're all kind of learning to live with it. Well you know that's the kind of thinking that keeps buffalo from realizing its full potential as a great waterfront city when you look at changing the waterfront. In destruction to be part of an internal. 67 years ago nobody thought that -- would be don't with Herman boulevard. Which which keeping people from -- accent. To the outer harper. We changed that with a brand new park way it is pedestrian friendly tree lined. Very attractive very accessible. Pathetic nature preserve is experiencing new life. Because that the improved access. And you know the other -- now look at. And the next piece of waterfront development Ohio street is a broken. Violent I have industrial world waited everybody was avoiding. Under construction to -- with an eleven million dollar federal investment. Is a brand new park way which we'll be in the land bridge between canal side in the outer harper. We'll have a brand new to us state park -- in order Herbert 2015. And you park in public places that commercial in the peace development and I was seeing. You know people just kind of got used to describe what it but that doesn't justifying its existence. The bottom line is it was built at a time. When Buffalo's economy was very different you know the buffalo river was home to a degree he has steel and chemical. In history he indicated the access I greatly traders. He's currently it was built a 110. Feet above the water surface but right now it's it's a broad way to bridge. That is structurally deficient it is functionally obsolete and it's fracture critical means that -- -- section of the bridge failed. Whole bridge collapses in net bridge would not be approved four construction today because of all that efficiency. When you don't have to spend too long in the canal side area to realize that things have changed for the better and you know we when we look at their progress and look at what's going on around the harbor. Is it worth -- to talk about tearing down the skyway and the construction time and costs. That it would take to that would may be hamper that progress that's going on right now -- Well it's it's -- about thirty acres is very valuable. Waterfront land in the question the real question is first -- It's about -- something out of building something about this about realizing the full potential. Of Buffalo's waterfront development. And the bridge was built in 1956. It cost you twenty million dollars to paint the bridge. It costs you ten to millions of dollars to rehabilitate the -- because. It is large as it is because it's as -- as it is. And it doesn't have to be that way I think can do have to look at to replace and so. You know the question. The buffalo in our community -- that it has to ask itself is due wanna continue to invest in the past or to want to invest in the future. And I think the progress we've made impossible waterfront despite you know the talk over decades. Really has occurred in the past five to it's it's it's it's it's seven years. And we have to consider everything though. You know Levy the -- where it is. Is this sub optimal two to where we want to be -- community and I think that when you look at. You know the cost benefit analysis I think most people will view this. And it he would need a new way in under construction -- In -- -- -- the development corporation should be taken more aggressive approach about that they have a bridge is going to environment for designed to provide. One of the alternatives to the sky way and that's the ballclub Harbour Bridge as they say you have Ohio street under -- -- under construction today. You have personal park they have 200 secondary streets they're under utilized because. Then infrastructure was built. It's time where -- -- population was twice the size it is today. So we have to look at the what are we using of those streets and in its alternatives the skyway. And Brent what is across the estimated cost to bring it down. There's the estimate -- you to demolish this kind of weighs about twenty. 25 million dollars the estimated cost to rehabilitate the. Way is well over a hundred million dollars. To bridge the standard time today. By the Erie Canal harbor development corporation is between seventy. Two in 95 million dollars so I think when you really look at the alternatives. A new way a new bridge or new modern bridge that's pretty extreme friendly. Will provide adequate access to the other harper which will allow DR Herbert developed. Stewart's -- as best you can and that's what we're looking at here why would we. You know except that the status -- we've been doing that for decades in this community. We need to forge a new future and I think most the people -- -- your support that. Bremer led you to join us this morning thank you. Congressman Brian Higgins.