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DL&W plans could fall victim to federal cuts

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Re-use of the second floor of the old DL&W train terminal at the foot of Main Street could be delayed for a long time under budget plans from President Trump to slash transportation projects spending.

"This is a project that is ready to go. This is 12 to 24 months from construction but for, but for an unclear commitment from the federal government," said Congressman Brian Higgins, who stood by the site as he shared his concerns with local media.

The project is looking for $40 million in a federal TIGER grant. The state has already set aside $20 million.


The actual passenger station has been gone since the 70s and the first floor of the century-old building was converted to the yards and shops for Metro Rail. There is 80,000 square feet of space on the second floor has been the subject of development discussion for decades.

Higgins says projects like this, Canalside or Ohio Street development need federal dollars to get the project started before private dollars roll in. Higgins then took aim at the confused priorities that are emerging from the White House, specifically,  the $1.6 billion that has been set aside "to build a wall on the Southern border that the president told us as a candidate that Mexico is going to pay for it."

"If Mexico is going to pay for it, you don't need any money for the wall. We need money right here in Buffalo and Western New York."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.