$95 million in investments planned for East Buffalo infrastructure

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – Federal, state, and city leaders gathered on Friday to announce plans for more than $95 million in investments in the streets and neighborhoods of East Buffalo. Among those in attendance for Friday’s announcement includes Congressman Brian Higgins, State Senator Tim Kennedy and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

© Provided by WBEN Radio Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Congressman Brian Higgins and Senator Tim Kennedy

The projects are scheduled to take place over the next four years, which includes major infrastructure improvements along Bailey Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Main Street, and Michigan Avenue.

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“This is only a fraction of the road and bridge repairs planned for Western New York. Next year alone, the State of New York will receive more than $2.7 billion in federal highway funding for roads and bridges. This represents a 22% increase over 2022, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” said Congressman Higgins. “Infrastructure provides the foundation for strong communities, advancing business growth and job opportunity, improving safety, enhancing accessibility and supporting healthy neighborhoods.”

Of the $95 million of investment set for East Buffalo, $25.65 million be invested along a 3.25-mile stretch of Jefferson Avenue from Main Street, near Canisius College, down to Swan Street. The project will see street rehabilitation, as well as streetscape improvements such as new lighting, sidewalks, and other pedestrian-friendly features.

Bailey Avenue is set to undergo a $15 million reconstruction in two phases from Winspear Avenue to East Delavan Avenue. The Build Back Bailey project will better define the roadway, support multi-modal transportation and include Buffalo Sewer Authority green infrastructure design features.

Congressman Higgins has requested, and House of Representatives has approved an additional $1 million in federal funding in the federal 2023 budget to synchronize traffic signals and provide technology to support Bus Rapid Transit along Bailey. The funding is up for U.S. Senate consideration and approval later this year.

Meanwhile, Main Street from Goodell Street to Kensington Avenue will see a transformation funded, in part, by a $25 million federal grant awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. A new road design will feature one lane in each direction along with a center turning lane and decorative LED lighting. Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly amenities include raised cycle tracks, as well as bump-outs and push-button countdown timers.

The 2.5-mile project will better enhance the connection between neighborhoods on the East and West sides of Main Street and also builds on over $54 million in separate investment planned for additional phases of the Cars Sharing Main Street project in Downtown Buffalo.

Also, a $4 million investment will be made along Michigan Street from South Division to Genesee Streets. The project, which runs along Buffalo’s Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, will include new asphalt pavement, replacement of necessary sidewalks and curbs, new signs and pavement markings, new traffic signals, including accessible pedestrian infrastructure, a city-owned LED street lighting system, and various streetscape amenities.

“These streets that have been identified in East Buffalo – Main Street, Jefferson Avenue, Michigan Avenue, Bailey Avenue – these four commercial districts and residential communities are going to see an investment, tens of millions of dollars that is going to help to bring the area up, stabilize the commercial districts,” said Sen. Kennedy. “It’s not just an investment in infrastructure, it’s an investment in job growth, in businesses, in the residential communities, the neighborhoods. People that live and work here in our communities deserve this investment.”

Many of the projects are in the planning and design phases at this time, and will incorporate feedback from the public before the process begins.

“We will be holding a number of meetings with residents on these projects to get their feedback, to hear from them, to make sure that we are making these investments in a way that our residents want to see,” said Mayor Brown.

Hear more from Friday’s press conference available in the player below:

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