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Buffalo's Waterfront Slowly Being Cobbled Together

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Original cobblestones were uncovered Tuesday as reconstruction begins on four historic streets in Buffalo's inner harbor area.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Gravel and soil were scraped away from a small patch of ground near the canal slip revealing the historic cobblestones. The project, which was announced in May, will restore four original cobblestone streets - Prime, Lloyd, Perry and Hanover.

Both cobbles that are still intact and salvaged cobbles from other areas will be used to rebuild the streets - and along with them a piece of the city's storied history. Unites States Congressman Brian Higgins said it is the next phase in a comprehensive vision for the waterfront that is already attracting thousands of people on the weekends.

The projected $3.8 million restoration plan is expected to draw a variety of private investment. City officials say they hope to lure big retailers, boutique businesses and local vendors. New curbs, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting also are being added. Public Works Commissioner Steven Sepniak said it is a balance between old and new. But he said it will all come together, including a link to the renovated outer harbor area.

Officials say a new bridge could eventually allow for the skyway to come down. The cobblestone project is federally-funded, including stimulus money, transportation and highway funds. City officials said the project is on schedule to be completed by this time next year and is running about six million dollars under budget.