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Bird Island Pier stretch may open; Unsafe walkway to undergo repair

The City of Buffalo hopes to reopen a closed stretch of Bird Island Pier by next spring.

The popular West Side walking and fishing destination, which extends into the Niagara River beginning at Broderick Park, has structural problems, which caused a stretch of it south of the Peace Bridge to be closed in August 2010.

But the city will use a $750,000 grant from the Niagara River Greenway Commission to repair at least half of what was closed, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Monday.

The pier is more than 100 years old, and Brown said estimates from the Army Corps of Engineers show that 100,000 people use the pier every year.

Repairs, expected to begin in the fall, will be done by the Army Corps of Engineers. The work will not interfere with the use of a stretch of pier that has not been closed, said Andrew Rabb, deputy commissioner of public works for parks.

The city expects the grant will pay for repairs to open the pier at least to the first refuge platform beyond the Peace Bridge and is looking for more funding to reopen the walkway completely.

Also Monday, city officials said the $1.5 million revitalization of Broderick Park is moving along. The final community meeting before construction bids are sought will be held at 6 p.m. July 12 in the atrium of Rich Products on Niagara Street. Improvements to the park will include an amphitheater and more walkways. The number of parking spaces will not change.

The city hopes to have contracts in hand by the fall with work completed by next year, Rabb said.