Considering the recent announcement by the New York State Department of Transportation about a scoping project for the Skyway, I would like to ask why a tunnel is not under consideration? It would be a direct replacement with no impact whatsoever on the existing infrastructure of the downtown and Outer Harbor areas if it used the same right of way as the existing bridge.
To me the lift bridge ideas makes no sense. The bridges would snarl the roads on either side of the river with waiting cars when lifted causing backups everywhere, it would impose yet another eyesore on the waterfront by cutting off the view.
It would result in a major amount of vehicle traffic being dumped onto the very streets that we are currently trying to turn into a destination for entertainment venues, history tourists, walkers, bike riders, families, shoppers and people out for a night on the town or a place to eat.
There is too much marine traffic on the river to keep lifting bridges all summer long. There are freighters, tug-barges, sailboats, tour boats, ice breakers, dredgers, the ice boom boats, and the fireboat all using the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal. Lift bridges would be going up and down all day long causing traffic jams at all times of the day.
The congested mess down there on city streets the last two construction seasons while the Skyway was closed (or had lane reductions in/outbound) should be a good example of what will happen without the Skyway.
We had lift bridges there before the Skyway and we built a high-level bridge for a reason. That reason (contradictory to what many people and local politicians believe) still exists and going back to lift bridges is a step in the wrong direction.
A tunnel project was in the works back in the late 1980s but it never got built and the seed money was spent on the cobblestone streets around the arena instead.
I’d like to see it revived and have a serious look taken at those old plans.
Brian R. Wroblewski