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Bills vs. Colts: What's the best way to drive to the game at New Era Field?

Driving to a weekday night Bills game at New Era Field is typically a challenge.

Getting to tonight's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts has all the makings of a slow-moving drive – especially since you've got regular evening commuters, some construction on the I-90, as well as people headed to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg.

"It's probably going to be a little crazy, volume-wise," said Mike Smith, operations manager at NITTEC, the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition.

Coming from Buffalo and the Northtowns, the best route will likely be the outbound Skyway, which will be open this afternoon, Smith said. That route involves taking the Skyway/Route 5 into Hamburg, then cutting over toward the stadium either at Route 179/Milestrip Road or Bayview Road.

Also, Southwestern Boulevard typically is not as bad as people think it is, Smith said.

There's some construction work on the westbound I-90 involving lane shifts near the exits for Route 219 and Route 400 that typically slows traffic.

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"You're probably better off to avoid the 90 if you could," Smith said.

To avoid Erie County Fair traffic, Smith recommends taking the 219 to Route 20A. There are some lane reductions on the 219 south of the stadium.

NITTEC recommends those who are planning on going to the Hamburg Fairgrounds to use South Park Avenue instead of McKinley Parkway.

Even with all the known potential problems, some other traffic obstructions can still pop up, meaning driving to weekday night Bills home games can get messy.

"It's usually one of our worst traffic days," he said.

Orchard Park police recommend those not going to the game avoid the following roads and areas: Southwestern Boulevard, Armor Duells Road and the Abbott Road corridor, said Capt. Pat Fitzgerald.

Drivers who aren't attending the game should avoid those areas starting from mid- to late-afternoon, Fitzgerald said.

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