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Project looks to transform Scajaquada Expressway

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Think Scajaquada Boulevard not Expressway. The state Department  of Transportation is prepared to spend $100 million to turn the road into what it calls an urban boulevard in harmony with the surrounding community.

State Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll says work has already started on planning the project, with the environmental study to be completed late this year to go with planning for the start of construction in 2018. and completion in 2020. The commissioner says 15 years have been spent talking about the expressway and it's time for construction.

During a DOT meeting at Buffalo State College last night, business executive Carly Hill questioned whether Albany has the money.
"I understand that the agencies already are under a huge burden just to answer to the maintenance needs that we have," Hill said during the public meeting.

"I'm just curious as to how we are actually going to deliver on the promise to the community in the funding structure."

Former Syracuse Mayor Driscoll says the money is in place.

Speaker after speaker at the packed session in the Bulger Communications Center questioned details of the plan or the planning process. Some questioned the need for any changes while a few suggested just removing the road and restoring Delaware Park.

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.