A huge $610 million back in 2011 was paid for a Providence, Rhode Island bridge replacement per the Sept. 20 Buffalo News article. To demolish and replace the much longer 3.4-mile Buffalo Skyway many years later would cost us – New York State taxpayers over $1 billion! Are we crazy?
The Buffalo Skyway has continued to be a very functional, easy transporter of tens of thousands of travelers going into Buffalo and north or south of Buffalo for over 50 years. Now, after its recent completion, almost $40 million taxpayer-paid renovation, it continues to be an excellent transport for at least another reported 25 years.
Much of the Skyway is over water or future parkland. It also provides sweeping views of the city and Lake Erie. That billion-dollar expenditure would be a completed waste of precious tax dollars which could instead be used for highly valued infrastructure projects. The Skyway’s destruction and road replacement will result in many years of neighborhood chaos and inconvenience to the thousands of daily autos, trucks and buses.
I, as the initiator of Buffalo’s “Waterfront Village” in the late 1970s, and my colleagues, never felt the Skyway was an obstacle to the Erie Basin area and development. Instead, let’s enhance the Skyway as was done to beautify our Peace Bridge and many other bridges around the world. Light it up to turn it into an attraction and use the billion taxpayer dollars for other very useful projects.