BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) The construction crews began digging Monday at Main and Allen Street with plans to work their way three blocks west to Delaware Avenue replacing water mains that could be more than a hundred years old.
“It’s just that, it’s gotta be done,” said Allentown resident Thomas Flynn. Allentown residents seem to be taking it in stride even though at times, this first block of Allen from Main to North Pearl will be closed to traffic at times this spring
Timothy Corner manages Caffeology at Allen and Pearl.”They said that there may be some times that they have to put some temporary planks and stuff like that but as long as people can still walk in the front door, I’ll be alright.”
To help address the concerns of neighbors and businesses, the contractor, Bergman Associates, has set up a field office at 19 Allen Street, according to the City of Buffalo Acting Commissioner of Public Works Michael Finn. “We are working with all the businesses to make sure that we’re minimizing the impacts to them. Obviously, when we’re doing a major construction project, there’s gonna be work that we have to do with those residents and business owners to make sure that they”re accommodated. But there will be some impacts that we all have to work through.”
The pay-off will be the finished product. After the new pipes go in, the sidewalks will be new, and have new bollards, and lighting and a curb design which is more conducive to street vending like the Allentown Art Festival, according to Allentown Association Executive Director Andrew Eisenhardt. “They’re thinking that it’s gonna be more of like a European marketplace where there’s no differentiation in street level, so people won’t trip over the curb. We can make it a plaza or a piazza, where it’s an open air market almost.”
The construction on first stretch of Allen Street, from Main to North Pearl, should take a few months. The next block will take another few months, but it’ll be almost two years before the three block stretch to Delaware Avenue is finished.