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City gears up for Pearl Street to become two-way in downtown Buffalo

The final phase of converting Pearl Street from one-way to two-way traffic kicks off Tuesday.

Crews will be out paving the already milled roadway over a one-mile stretch from West Tupper Street south to Lower Terrace, with hopes of completing the $2.5 million project either this coming weekend or the next.

“The week is going to be perfect for paving,” Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak said Monday.

However, there is some concern that rain forecast for the weekend might forestall the project for an additional week. Stepniak said the aim is to begin the conversion on a weekend day when motor vehicle traffic is lighter and to give the driving public time to adjust to the change.

“We want to do it on a weekend when traffic is minimal down there, and then we’ll give folks time to say, ‘Hey, this is done, and be prepared for it on Monday, or if you’re down here for some other event over the weekend,’ ” Stepniak said.

Once the paving is completed, the roadway will have to be striped to accommodate the new two-way traffic pattern, after which corresponding signs and new south-facing northbound traffic signals will be uncovered and become functional for the first time.

“We’re in the homestretch,” said Michael J. DeGeorge, a spokesman for Mayor Byron W. Brown.

“As we convert cars on Main to traffic, this will help control the flow of traffic (to and from downtown venues) and allow for greater accessibility to those areas.”

Motorists on Pearl are urged to use caution and follow directions on portable electronic traffic signs and temporary signposts. Franklin Street, a block west of Pearl, was resurfaced this summer between West Chippewa and North streets. The traffic pattern remains one-way between Edward and North streets, but open to two-way traffic south of that.


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