New canals project for downtown Buffalo ready to restart - The Buffalo News
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New canals project for downtown Buffalo ready to restart

Work is expected to resume later this month on historically aligned canals, pedestrian bridges and pathways at the former Memorial Auditorium site, with completion anticipated by next summer.

Travelers Insurance, the bonding agent for the general contractor removed in the spring by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., has hired a general contractor to finish the half-completed, $20 million project, according to an official with the waterfront agency.

“I understand a contractor has been selected, and work is expected to resume within two weeks,” said board member Sam Hoyt. The name of the contractor will be announced by Travelers, he said.

The project, which will develop canals that will serve as reflecting pools in the summer and skating rinks in the winter, fell behind schedule and led to the removal of DiPizio Construction, which has blamed the waterfront agency for the delays.

DiPizio sought a preliminary injunction to stop its removal from the site, but that was denied in State Supreme Court July 12.

DiPizio has responded by launching three lawsuits, the most recent on Friday.

One lawsuit claims Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.’s board of directors failed to vote on terminating DiPizio despite having approved the contract.

A defamation suit was filed against Tom Dee, the waterfront agency’s president, Hoyt, and Mark Smith, the agency’s construction director.

The third suit charges the Liro Group, an engineering and construction management consultant hired by the waterfront agency, with having interfered with the contract.

Hoyt said the former Aud site will be just one of several exciting developments by the end of next summer.

“The first phase of the HarborCenter should be complete, the replica canals project will be complete, the East Canal project will be complete – there will be a real true transformation of that part of the waterfront by the end of the summer,” Hoyt said.


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