Congressman Brian Higgins, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Buffalo City Councilman David Rivera officially announced the start of a major reconstruction project on the Ferry Street Bridge connecting Niagara Street to Squaw Island.
Originally built in 1913, the Ferry Street Bridge is a bascule bridge crossing the Black Rock Channel. Work is just beginning to rehabilitate the bridge and is slated for completion in early 2016. The $7.92 million reconstruction project includes $5.56 million in federal transportation funding, $1.31 million in funding from the City of Buffalo and $1.05 million from the State.
The Ferry Street Bridge project compliments a number of other improvement projects in the area surrounding the bridge:
Broderick Park will see a $2.3 million investment from the City and State. Of that total, approximately $1.5 million in enhancements are nearly complete including: creation of a south lawn and parking area, a new shelter, railings, sidewalks, bike path, amphitheater and central overlook. Concession building improvements, a memorial garden, Underground Railroad Freedom Walk pathway, north parking area and additional landscape features are scheduled for completion next year.
Over $1.5 million in funding was dedicated to recent repairs along Bird Island Pier. Collaborative efforts between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Buffalo and Niagara Greenway Commission, supported dredging and repairs to shore up the unique pedestrian path that serves as both a barrier providing calmer waters for boats traveling the Niagara River and a fishing destination for anglers. In 2013 Higgins also successfully fought efforts by the U.S. Army Corps to block off access to Squaw Island fishing pier.
An additional $5.9 million in federal funding, including resources provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, was secured in 2011 for waterside improvements to the Black Rock Channel, Tonawanda Harbor and Buffalo Harbor.
Construction on the Ferry Bridge brings the total recent investment along this portion of the Niagara Street section of the waterfront to over $36.42 million.