Major Renovations Planned for Robert Moses Parkway
Area leaders are calling for monumental changes to the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls. The four-lane highway runs along the water but officials want to see it reduced to two-lanes with increased public access.
YNN's Kate McGowan spoke with those in favor of the plan.
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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Robert Moses Parkway connects drivers to and from Niagara Falls. But some area leaders said it's not a welcoming site.
"The Governor has emphasized the revitalization of Western New York and Buffalo Niagara as a top priority and waterfront access in both cities is so critical," said Sam Hoyt of Empire State Development.
Plans are underway to renovate Robert Moses at the entrance to the Falls park.
Hoyt said the long term hope is to cut the four-lane freeway in half and reduce the 55 mile per hour speed limit.
"What we're going to do is turn what is currently a barricade and a wall in the form of an expressway to the water into a very pedestrian-friendly park, if you will that eliminates the high speed express that's there," Hoyt said.
Hoyt said nature and hiking trails would be added, as well as pull off parking areas for motorists.
"It sounds like a great idea, I mean I enjoy this so I think more of this would be fantastic," said one visitor to the Falls.
It comes at a price tag of nearly $20 million. But only a quarter of that amount is already set aside for the project.
Officials said the 'billion dollar fund' promised to Buffalo by Governor Andrew Coumo could help in this financial pinch.
Hoyt explained, "We certainly think it fits into the overall goals, therefore it certainly has an advantage."
The public will be able to review the plans at a special meeting this month. And the final design should be finished next year. If all goes well, officials said construction could begin as early as spring 2013.
A resident said, "It will take time but why not?"
Those in favor said it's only beneficial to highlight the mighty Niagara and majestic Niagara Falls.
"You'll draw lots of people here to enjoy it and it's really a non-brainer," visitor, Tom Robenalt said.
Another one said, "I think it's a great resource that the city has, that they should take advantage of."