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Public Works completes city infrastructure projects, more on horizon

Public works
WBFO Photo/Nick Lippa
Michael Finn, City of Buffalo public works commissioner offers updates on road work, with Buffalo Councilman Mitch Nowakowski

The City of Buffalo reached a milestone in its 2021 infrastructure improvement plan. The Department of Public Works finished three major projects, paving Niagara Street, Main Street, and Walden Avenue.

The work represents $14.9 million of the overall $58 million city infrastructure budget. But, Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn said the work isn’t done.

“This is continuing the city's commitment to infrastructure improvement all across the city. Infrastructure improvements are so important for quality of life in all of our city’s districts, and all four corners of the city,” Finn said. “We're also making great progress on two major projects. The Entertainment District project is continuing on Chippewa and Franklin streets. Also Abbott Road in South Buffalo is ongoing.”

Those other two improvements are streetscape projects, much more than re-paving. In the Entertainment District the city will be expanding sidewalks, upgrading to LED street lighting, and amenities like benches, greenery, and more. Construction on that is expected to continue throughout the remainder of the year

In addition to re-paving streets, work on Niagara Street also included the introduction of a bike line with a median. Bike lanes are nothing new to the city, but the introduction of a median Finn said enables better safety for bicyclists. If successful, he said the Department of Public Works may start to incorporate them into future street improvement projects.
The long-time initiative to increase vehicular traffic back onto Main Street had a recent pause. Commissioner Finn said it was needed to help Metro Rail service overall.

“We had to pause to allow work in the DL & W Terminal that had to be done before the cars on Main Street could be done, kind of a sequencing coordination so that we could keep the Metro Rail running efficiently,” said Finn. “But the cars on Main Street will be starting shortly. That will be getting into what's called single tracking which means that the train rides on one side in both directions.”

Finn believes a substantial workload of the car sharing project on Main Street will be completed by the end of this year.

Updated: June 24, 2021 at 11:49 AM EDT