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Buffalo gets big federal boost to return traffic to Main Street downtown

Metro rail line above ground on Main Street, downtown Buffalo
File photo
Metro rail line above ground on Main Street, downtown Buffalo

25-years ago vehicle traffic was removed from Main Street downtown Buffalo for the light rail metro system. 
But in recent years, new efforts are underway to revitalize that stretch of Main Street by restoring traffic. 

And now Buffalo is receiving a big federal boost to restore traffic.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a TIGER Grant to Buffalo for the project. 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer delivered the good news while appearing in the region Monday.

"Which will breathe life into downtown by improving access To Main Street and its businesses.  It has long been a dream of Buffalonians to fix up that mess on Main Street and this $15 million grant goes a long way to making sure that happens," said Senator Schumer.

"The city of Buffalo will decide what exact parts of Main Street the grant will go to, but it'll put hundreds of construction workers to work," said Schumer.

“Buffalo receiving a $15 million Federal Grant for the city’s ‘Cars Sharing Main Street’ project is great news,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown.  “My administration worked hard on this application, and to secure these critical funds.  This grant will support the investment that has already taken place in the Seven Hundred Block of downtown Main Street, along with the money we already have in place for the Six Hundred Block.  The ultimate goal of the ‘Cars Sharing Main Street’ project is to increase business, and residential investment along Main Street, and to create more jobs for the residents of this community. I want to thank Senator Charles Schumer, who was a strong advocate in Washington for the city’s federal grant application, and the other members of our Western New York Congressional Delegation.”

"This is a huge victory for economic development in Buffalo and Western New York,” said Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins.

The 700-block of Main Street reopened to traffic in 2009.  Construction is to begin to open the 600-block by 2012.