October 26th Public Meeting on Robert Moses Parkway Removal Marks Continued Progress on Effort to Reconnect the City of Niagara Falls, New York with Its Waterfront

Western New York area Congressman Brian Higgins Says, “As We Tear Down the Parkway, We Build Up This Great City”

News from the Buffalo, New York office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted October 26th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) welcomed the public meeting to detail final design and removal of the Robert Moses Parkway North in the City of Niagara Falls. 

A stretch of the Robert Moses Parkway (renamed ‘Niagara Scenic Parkway’, along Niagara River upstream from the Falls. The Robert Moses continues along the lower Niagara River through Lewiston to Youngstown at mouth of river.

Higgins said, “For too long there has been a disconnect between arguably the most magnificent waterfront in the world and the City that gets its name from this natural wonder.  Millions of people visit Niagara Falls each year but the people who live here and operate businesses here aren’t enjoying the full benefit of the City’s status as a premiere destination.” 

“Removal of the Robert Moses Parkway represents a giant step in righting a historic injustice and reconnecting the community with its waterfront.  As we tear down the Parkway, we build up this great city.”

In early 2013, in the first days after assuming representation of the City of Niagara Falls, Congressman Higgins called on the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to pay for Robert Moses Parkway removal. 

In a detailed document titled: “The Niagara Falls Waterfront: NYPA’s Responsibility for the Robert Moses Parkway,” Higgins laid out the argument for NYPA’s obligation to the City of Niagara Falls and later pointed out the community injustice while standing next to Mrs. Mamie Simonson, whose home was taken against her will by NYPA in 1959 to allow for construction of the Parkway.   The Congressman subsequently met with the NYPA Board Chair and later had conversations with the NYPA President. 

One year after the Congressman’s push, in January 2014, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved the first $2 million toward design of the project.  The required Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is now complete and the project was authorized by the Federal Highway Administration in February.  

Total cost for the project is estimated at $42 million.  The project includes: removal of approximately two miles of the expressway from Main Street to Findlay Drive, installation of a trail network on lands reclaimed from the Parkway removal, and reconstruction of Whirlpool Street and a portion of Third Street, among other features.  Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018.

On Thursday, October 26, 2017 NYS Parks in conjunction with NYPA, the New York State Department of Transportation and others, will hold a public information meeting on the Robert Moses Parkway North (Renamed: Niagara Scenic Parkway) Removal Project.  For additional details on the project and meeting: https://parks.ny.gov/newsroom/meeting-notices/notice.aspx?n=176.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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