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$1 billion coming to Kensington Expressway redesign

The Kensington Expressway.
Chris Caya

The redesign of the Kensington Expressway is getting a $1 billion boost from New York.

State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and state Sen. Tim Kennedy are expected to announce the funding at a press conference Friday afternoon at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

The project seeks to fully cover the portion of Route 33 known as the Kensington and reconnect the Hamlin Park, Cold Spring and MLK neighborhoods on the city's East Side. The proposed redesign or removal of the Scajaquada is being coordinated with the larger Kensington project.

The Restore Community Coalition has been a leading proponent of covering the Kensington. Steering committee chair Stephanie Barber Geter said she's glad the planning is looking at the big picture.

"Big time," she said. "You know we all plan in a vacuum and we also make ourselves divided. This is one road. I don't know why we did this before, but it's one road. It starts out downtown in the Fruit Belt and it runs all the way to the I-90, right?"

Barber Geter attended a meeting at Buffalo State Wednesday evening where the latest proposals for the Scajaquada redesign were presented in conjunction with the Kensington project. The overall planning involves what's called "Region Central." With enough federal money in the wings for actual construction, planners have upped their efforts.

WBFO's Mike Desmond contributed to this story.

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