Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today said the $6.3 million reconstruction of Allen Street, between Main Street and Delaware Avenue, the first phase of a project which will transform the entire length of Allen Street into a more efficient and attractive corridor, is progressing on schedule.
“Allen Street is one of downtown’s busiest and best-known streets. Its redesign will be a welcome improvement for long-time Allentown residents and businesses, while also accommodating the increased activity fueled by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and spin-off development, which is putting an increased focus on Allen Street. I’m pleased to say the project is progressing well,” Mayor Brown said.
Funding for first phase of the project includes: $3 million from the Federal Highway Administration, $2.7 million from the City of Buffalo, and the Buffalo Sewer and Water Boards, and $600,000 from Empire State Development.
Mayor Brown also announced that $3.48 million in additional funding for Phase Two of the Allen Street Complete project is included in the City’s 4-year capital plan for highway funds.
“With those funds secured, we can move into the second half of this project and finish this critical project for the Allentown neighborhood,” Mayor Brown said.
Phase Two Allen Street Complete is currently in design, with construction anticipated to start in summer 2020.
“The first phase of the project kicked-off in March with installation of a new 24-inch water main beginning at the Main Street end, progressing toward Delaware Avenue. Sewer replacement is expected to start shortly and will similarly be installed from Main to Delaware. When the sewer and water work is completed, the full street reconstruction will follow,” said Michael J. Finn, P.E., the City’s Acting Commissioner of Public Works, Parks & Streets
Full street reconstruction will include the complete replacement of the street bed and sidewalks and will feature flexible parking that can be blocked off for other uses at various times, new lighting, landscaping and street furniture. The first phase of the Allen Street Complete is expected to wrap up in 2020.
“This infrastructure enhancement project will better serve Allentown’s active and unique commercial and residential neighborhood,” said Congressman Brain Higgins. “Design features improve traffic flow, boost walkability and connect the community with the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.”
“Making this already vibrant Allen Streets neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly – with new sidewalks, lighting upgrades, improved street pavement and crosswalk enhancements – is just one example of our investments in walkable city centers throughout New York State,” said Empire State Development President & CEO Howard Zemsky.
The City has arranged for additional staff on the construction support team to act as a community liaison to work with residents, business owners and the contractor to ensure that lines of communication are open, and everyone is advised of the timing and progress of the construction. Bergmann Associates is responsible for the daily construction inspection and communication with the community. Destro & Bros Concrete Co. is the project’s general contractor.
Mayor Brown encouraged stakeholders to monitor daily updates on the project website: allenstreetcomplete.com.
Mayor Brown also provided an update on three other major street projects which are continuing in 2019.
$5.7 million Northland Avenue Streetscape project:
The complete transformation of Northland Avenue, between Grider Street and Fillmore Avenue, will move into its final phase, creating an attractive, walkable and safe corridor linking the neighborhood to the 35-acre Northland training and jobs campus.
The highlight of the final phase is creation of a one-acre greenspace at 577 Northland Ave., with extensive landscaping, public art, and areas to relax in the park-like setting. Other work will include installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Northland and Schauf avenues, and general clean-up and final site restoration.
Completed work includes: all new water and sewer lines, street paving, new curbs and sidewalks, and LED streetlights.
$22.5 Million Cars Sharing Main Street Initiative – Lower Main Phase:
Begun in August 2018, the fourth phase of downtown Buffalo’s Cars Sharing Main Street Project will restore vehicular traffic along lower Main Street, between Exchange and Scott Streets, greatly increasing access to Canalside, and other destinations along Buffalo’s Inner Harbor.
Following the completion of major utility work, in 2019 work will focus on the replacement of NFTA Metro Rail track and rail, in coordination with improvements scheduled for the DL&W Terminal. This project to return vehicular traffic to lower Main Street is slated for completion in 2021.
This phase of the Niagara Streetscape Project is transitioning an industrial corridor to a vibrant destination that complements its waterfront proximity and recent increased level of private investment.
Work will focus on Niagara Street from Hampshire Street to the bridge over Scajaquada Creek, as well as Busti Avenue from Columbus Parkway to Niagara Street, and on Robert Rich Way from the West Ferry Lift Bridge to Niagara Street.
The project will incorporate responsible storm water management and several aesthetic elements, including plantings, green infrastructure, exposed glass-aggregate sidewalk areas; wayfinding and educational signage, and public art.
A key feature will be the installation of granite pavers along Robert Rich Way. The pavers will be engraved with significant dates and people related to the history of the Network to Freedom site in Broderick Park. Started in 2018, this phase is scheduled for completion in 2020.