BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - In the future motorists could continue driving on the Skyway or a new bridge. On Tuesday Congressman Brian Higgins announced the State Department of Transportation has agreed to review the Skyway. The commissioner said once alternatives for the bridge are analyzed they'll be able to have a meaningful discussion about the Skyway's future.
Congressman Higgins wants it to be replaced. "This is not about tearing something down it's about building something up," said Higgins.
The Congressman said it's more cost effective to build a new Buffalo Harbor Bridge versus repairing the Skyway. He estimates a new bridge from Main Street to the Outer Harbor will cost up to $75 million. He said the state estimates that repairing Skyway will cost nearly double.
"This is a description that engineers have given that this bridge at the State Department of Transportation. The bridge is structurally deficient, it's functionally obsolete and it's functionally critical" said Higgins.
The congressman also wants to improve South Park Avenue and turn Ohio Street into a parkway.
During the press conference a protester arrived with a billboard saying "the Skyway is our signature bridge". News 4 also spoke with a few commuters on the Skyway about it. Some don't mind tearing it down. Others are against it. "As long as it's easier to get in and out of the city I'm fine. It doesn't matter to me either way," said Eric Matuszewski of Hamburg.
"I think it's a beautiful entrance into the city. It's a very peaceful exit after work looking out over the lake. And I think for people in the community coming in to visit us it's an attractive entrance," said Ann Ferris of Hamburg
Higgins said the DOT review should be finished by the end of 2013.
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