The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is already involved in a public process to explore alternatives to the deteriorating Interstate 81 in Syracuse and they will now also be reviewing alternatives to Buffalo’s Skyway to assess its future.   The Skyway consists of 1.5 miles of elevated highway and its crumbling infrastructure, similar to I-81, is considered outdated and structurally deficient, posing risks for its users.

Buffalo first learned of the news when Representative Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, received a response to his objections and concerns regarding the Skyway from NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald in a letter stating, “I have directed my staff to conduct a ‘plausibility review’ to identify the critical issues…”  Acting NYSDOT regional director, Darrell F. Kaminski, also reached out to the Buffalo community and said to a private citizen the following: “In recognition of the significant investment associated with preserving the Skyway, it is both appropriate and prudent to identify and assess alternatives to its continued existence.”

Some believe the recent improvements along numerous infrastructure routes, such as a $2.3 million improvement project completed along South Park Avenue, would allow them to be reviewed as routes upon which the displaced Skyway traffic could travel in a removal alternative.  Higgins expects the review will also consider the recent economic development along Buffalo’s waterfront as well as an assessment of the 27.5 acres that would be opened up on the outer harbor for redevelopment if the Skyway was removed.

Click here to learn more about the review.

Photo by 106.5 WYRK.

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