BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) There are just days left to submit an idea for what the future holds for the Skyway corridor.
“Submissions are due on Friday of this week,” said John Maggiore, senior advisor to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. So far dozens of applicants have sent in plans to the ‘Aim for the Sky’ competition to re-imagine the Skyway Corridor.
On Monday morning, the panel of judges who will help the Governor choose a winning idea came to tour Canalside. “The panelists, some of whom are new to Buffalo, they’ve come from different parts of the country, are coming in,” said Maggiore. “Some of them are seeing this for the first time of they haven’t seen it in a while.”
The winners will be chosen in September. First place will receive $100,000, second place will get $50,000 and third place receives $25,000, But even when the winning ideas are announced, it’ll be awhile before anything changes on the Skyway. The Governor’s Senior advisor John Maggiore says there will be a few years of environmental studies before any construction would begin. He says people shouldn’t read too much into the fact that in April, Governor Cuomo was touting the benefits of how NY City turned a highway into the Highline, a walkway with gardens.
Anyone wishing to submit a plan can visit the Empire State Development website, But the hardest question in any idea is what to do with all the traffic which now flows across the 60-year-old Skyway span.
“This bridge is functionally obsolete,” said Congressman Brian Higgins, of Buffalo. “It’s structurally deficient, it’s fracture critical and if you tried to get it built today it would not be approved because of safety issues.”
Ny State Senator Timothy Kennedy says this planning phase needs to look far ahead. “What do we want the new Buffalo to look like ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, fifty years from now, when maybe none of us are around anymore? What do we want Buffalo to look like for our kids and grandkids and future generations? That’s what we’re talking about.”