A three-ringed security barrier will greet fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium by the time the Buffalo Bills open the preseason.
To meet NFL rules for all stadiums in 2007, Erie County is hiring contractors to hoist concrete barriers into place. They will be in three rings, interrupted so pedestrians can weave through them, but vehicles would not.
County Public Works Commissioner John C. Loffredo said there will be a ring of Jersey barriers -- which are commonly seen along highway work zones -- all outside the stadium's perimeter fence.
Taxpayers are financing the project as part of the stadium's annual upkeep, which this year includes installation of a new high-tech scoreboard and a ribbon board circling the stadium's interior.
The scoreboard and the ribbon board, which cost $5.2 million, are being purchased with money borrowed over the last two years. Similarly, the almost $400,000 required for the barriers and for some small-scale repairs has been borrowed and will be repaid over time.
The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority on Friday approved the government's contracts to install the security barrier and to replace some lights and a transformer. However, the control board members also wanted assurances that county officials had done their best to seek bids.