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Ohio Street makeover starting to take shape

Ashley Hirtzel

The $11.3 million redevelopment of Ohio Street is starting to take shape in Buffalo. Mayor Byron Brown, Congressman Brian Higgins and Commissioner of Public Works Steven Stepniak provided an update Tuesday on the land-bridge, which is expected to help further public and private investment into the city.

The renovation to link Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors is 40% complete. Mayor Brown says the project is already attracting private parties interested in locating to the area, which was created to improve access between the inner and outer harbors.

“We expect this project to help to stimulate additional economic development, additional investment in this part of the city, which will create more jobs for the residents of the city,” said Brown.

Stepniak says once complete, Ohio Street will feature a park along the water, streetscape lighting and landscaping, and pedestrian and bicycle only pathways. Stepniak says so far, the project is coming in under budget and ahead of schedule.

“What you’re actually seeing here is the development of the project. Being that, the boundaries are being

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Ohio Street construction.

laid out, you have all your curb lanes indicating your bike lane and your outer curb. We upgraded all the utilities in the area, which allows it to have the esthetic feel for the park itself, but also to be able to develop the area around it. So, it’s really coming together nicely and it’s nice to see,” said Stepniak.

Brown says once finished, Ohio Street will become the most complete street ever built in the city.

“We want to create opportunities at the inner harbor and Canalside, but we’re also working very aggressively to create opportunities at the outer harbor too for mixed use development, things that will create not only opportunities for people to get to the water’s edge, but for people to work and generate income for businesses to grow as well. So, all of this is designed to work together,” said Brown.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Ohio Street

Congressman Higgins says project is part of a greater effort to return Buffalo to the great waterfront city that it once was.

“This project continues a ‘from the ground up’ approach that focuses on infrastructure and public friendly features to rebuild our waterfront and our city. It is also the latest tangible project representing continued momentum for Western New York,” said Higgins.

Ohio Street will reopen to vehicle traffic by the end of the year. The renovation project is expected to be complete by the spring of 2015.