City of Buffalo announces $8 million to improve infrastructure along downtown entertainment district


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Mayor Brown announced $8 million is going to infrastructure improvements to major streets, sidewalks, and streetscapes along Chippewa, Franklin, and Court streets.

Work will begin Monday, April 5, on Chippewa between S. Elmwood Avenue and Franklin, the city announced. Improvements along Chippewa include expanded sidewalks and special catenary lighting to accommodate increased outdoor activity.

“These upgrades include repaving, complete sidewalk replacement, and new curbing, as well as new City-owned LED street lighting, benches, plantings, and other amenities. The goal is to make the Downtown Entertainment District a more attractive, friendly, and engaging place to be,” Mayor Brown said.

Brown also added that the city wants to create a space that continues to support increased outdoor activities as we transition out of a pandemic life.

City of Buffalo Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn says this project is the first of many announcements for the 2021 construction season.

In Friday’s press conference, Finn said in addition to this work, work has already begun on replacing the cables on the Michigan Street Lift Bridge and prep work for paving Main Street from Ferry Street to Delavan Avenue.

Starting Monday at 7 a.m., Chippewa Street will close to vehicle traffic from S. Elmwood Avenue to Franklin Street. The city says intersections at S. Elmwood, Delaware Avenue, and Franklin Street will remain open to north-south traffic.

Officials say work on Franklin Street will start on April 12 from Court to Huron street. There will be a full replacement of the signal light at the intersection of Franklin and W. Mohawk streets, in addition to repaving.

According to city officials, the contractor will work on one side of the roadway at a time, allowing two-way traffic to remain in both directions. The same goes for sidewalks and curbs to allow for pedestrian access on at least one side of the street at all times.

The city tells News 4 construction on Chippewa and Franklin will happen concurrently throughout 2021. As for Court Street, infrastructure is anticipated to begin once the majority of construction is complete on Chippewa and Franklin, either late this year or in early 2022.

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