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Street work for canalside lofts will result in detours

Improvements to streets and parking around a canalside loft project will cause traffic detours from April to June.

An old city incinerator will likely be condemned and torn down.

New roadway and curbs are expected to be installed at a planned industrial park on Oliver Street in the next few weeks.

City Engineer Dale W. Marshall updated lawmakers on those projects Tuesday night during a workshop in City Hall as part of an overall review of planned infrastructure work.

He also updated Common Council members on other projects, including a fishing pier at Gratwick-Riverside Park, storm sewer work and a bridge.

The Kissling Interests' proposal to turn the former Remington Rand building on Sweeney Street into the Remington Lofts on the Canal is a $20 million project, which is more than the $13 million investment in a new Walmart Supercenter at the former Melody Fair site, Marshall said.

"They're investing more in downtown, in historic downtown, than Walmart is," he said.

The project to improve the roadway on Sweeney and Marion streets will cost between $300,000 and $400,000, and is being paid for by the developer, according to Marshall.

When the work is done, there will be more parking capacity, and Sweeney will be narrower.

During the construction period from about April to June, traffic will be diverted from Sweeney north onto Main Street and east on Thompson Street to Oliver Street.

The former city incinerator at the corner of Erie Avenue and Walck Road will be condemned and torn down because demolition is more cost-effective than remediating the building, which has asbestos contamination, Marshall said.

Infrastructure work in the Buffalo Bolt Industrial Park, the former site of Roblin Steel, began in January. Sanitary and storm sewer systems have been installed, and the water main will be finished this week. A deal is nearly finalized for Aquasol, which has a facility on Thompson Street, to become the first official business planning to locate in the business park, said Marshall and Mayor Robert G. Ortt.

Marshall also said:

*The city will be asking for public comments on plans to rehabilitate the Durkee Bridge, which connects River Road to Tonawanda Island.

*The Manhattan Street parking lot will be rebuilt between mid-April and mid-May. City officials said they hope to coordinate with downtown businesses and will try to find other options in order to minimize the disruption from the construction work.

*The contractor installing a new fishing pier in Gratwick-Riverside Park hopes to have the work completed in the next month or so.

e-mail: abesecker@buffnews.com

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