NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) -- Plans to remove part of the Niagara Scenic Parkway, formerly known as the Robert Moses Parkway, are moving forward.
Thursday the state presented their final design phase to residents.
It's a project that's been in the works for several years. Many residents have felt for years that there was a disconnect from the community and its waterfront.
"I don't think anybody really ever wanted the parkway built in the city of Niagara Falls, but it was and now it's time for it to go. It's been desired to be removed since the year 2000," said Mark Thomas, New York State Parks.
Two miles north of the Rainbow Bridge will be removed from downtown Niagara Falls to DeVeaux Woods State Park. Green space will take its place along with hiking and bike trails and overlooks.
"The whirlpool needs attention, we've been expecting something to happen," said Niagara Falls resident, Calvin Babcock.
"It really opens up the parkway for tourists to get right up against the gorge. I think it's awesome, I'm excited about it, I think it's really cool, I think it's going to make as big as an impact as Canalside did for the City of Buffalo," said Nicholas Hlywa, Niagara Falls resident.
Drivers will use Whirlpool Street instead of the parkway when traveling towards Lewiston and Youngstown.
"I think it's going to create additional space for tourists, but I think it will create an impetuous to move into this Main Street neighborhood," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Although the project is moving forward, it also comes with some opposition.
"I think it's a waste of taxpayer money. We're looking at a budget crisis where they're saying we have no money and to spend $40 million even if it's given to us by the Power Authority, it should be spent better in the city. Do something that's going to give me something for my tax dollar," said Justin Bruner, Niagara Falls resident.
The entire project will cost $42 million. Construction is scheduled to start late spring of 2018.
Thursday was the final public informational meeting for the project.
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