© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State urged to take over two major Lackawanna roads

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Legislation is introduced in both houses of the State Legislature that propose an Albany takeover of two major roadways in the City of Lackawanna.

A $2.5 million repaving of South Park and Ridge Road was completed just before the Memorial Day holiday. Now, two local representatives in the Legislature want the state to assume full control of those roads.


State Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblyman Michael Kearns are sponsoring bills calling for the takeover in their respective legislative houses. Both see this as a chance to spur economic development while easing the burden on a city with limited resources.

"A city that has a budget of about 25 million dollars won't have to spend the two-point-five million dollars to take care of these roads," Kennedy said. "I believe it would be a very, very strong investment for New York State but it will especially have a tremendous impact on the City of Lackawanna and its taxpayers."

Supporters of the state takeover point to the visitor attractions accessed by the roads, including Our Lady of Victory Basilica, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, as well as the heart of Lackawanna's commercial district and city hall.

"Good infrastructure leads to great development," said Kearns. "In order for Lackawanna to redevelop itself and continue on all the positive things that are happening, we need this infrastructure."

State funds covered the recent repaving project. Handing control of South Park and Ridge Road to the state, suggested Lackawanna mayor Geoff Szymanski, would allow his city to reinvest in repairs of its other numerous streets.

It's a constant need, the mayor stated, given the swings in weather from sunny 80-degree days to harsh winter conditions that deteriorate the pavement.

"We're always going to be paving," Szymanski said. "We'll just continue to reinvest into our streets and other infrastructures."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
Related Content