Tonawanda News — NIAGARA FALLS — State officials announced a $10 million injection into the Robert Moses Parkway South project during a presentation at the Burchfield-Penny Art Center in Buffalo.
Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Tuesday the state would provide the money to help facilitate the removal as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative.
The state had already committed $5 million. With the $10 million announced on Tuesday $15 million is now dedicated to the south section project.
State officials estimated the remaining cost of the south section portion of the project to be between $15 million and $20 million. The section of the parkway runs from state park toward the Grand Island bridges.
Duffy said the investment in the road project is a sign of Cuomo’s continuing commitment to investing in Western New York.
“Today’s announcement exemplifies the state-local coordination that has become a hallmark of this administration: the Regional Economic Development Councils bringing together community leaders to guide the state’s investment where it can best serve the people of Buffalo and grow the economy of Western New York,” Duffy said.
Duffy said the removal of the expressway — which will be replaced with an at-grade, low-speed parkway — will reconnect the city with the rapids and create opportunities for tourists and residents to enjoy the river.
“This investment will focus specifically on Buffalo’s tourism assets, and transforming a part of the city to better attract visitors and drive local development and job growth,” Duffy said.
Howard Zemsky, the co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, gave a presentation during the announcement outlining the many investments in Niagara Falls slated as part of the tourism section of the Buffalo Billion plan.
The council is hoping to help private investors cash in on the assets that already exist in the region by promoting outdoor adventure, cultural and heritage tourism, according to Zemsky.