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Transformed Ohio Street reopens to traffic

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Ohio Street is once again open to traffic between Buffalo's inner and outer harbors. The transformation of the old industrial corridor into a pedestrian-friendly parkway is about 70 percent complete.A nearly one-and-a-half mile section of Ohio Street was reopened Monday, as part of an $11.3 million rehabilitation project. Mayor Byron Brown says he is hopeful that the rebuilt street will attract private developers. 

"We think you will see a lot more projects move from the possibility to the reality stage. The investment that the public sector is making has already stimulated a lot of other private sector and not-for-profit sector investment in this area of the city. It's an area that a lot of investors are looking at," Brown said.

The renovation project includes the addition of on-street parking, a multi-use bike and walking path, LED street lighting and new trees. Brown says residential, retail and industrial can coexist along Ohio Street.  

"We want to maximize the ability for people to get to the water's edge, for people to enjoy the water. But we also want to maximize the ability for people to work and recreate in this part of the city. So it'll be a mixed-used environment," said Brown.

Thomas Dee, president of the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation, which provided $2 million toward the project, says it's another victory for Buffalo.

"Canalside has been such an unbelievable success and now we want to move that to the Outer Harbor. This is the connecting link," said Dee.

The project is expected to wrap up early next year.