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Skyway demolition discussion continues

WBFO News file photo

For a year, the State Transportation Department has been studying tearing down the Skyway in Buffalo. Now, a local state senator says it's time to release that information.

Senator Tim Kennedy is asking state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald to release the report to see if the department considers the bridge too old and too worn out to again be repaired.

A 2008 DOT report said maintenance and repair of the bridge would cost $117 million over the next 20 years and removal would cost $20-$25 million.

Senator Kennedy said with the proposal for the replacement Harbor Bridge nearing completion, it's time to look at the Skyway.

"They are on parallel paths. But, we certainly believe that by bringing the Skyway down and opening up the 27 acres of development along the water's edge, we'll have a direct impact on the Western New York economy starting right in the City of Buffalo where we've seen such tremendous momentum at Canalside and now the Outer Harbor with the transfer of the land," says Kennedy.

The Department of Transportation did not return a phone call to WBFO requesting comment on the senator's letter.

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.