BUFFALO, N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Saturday that the State Department of Transportation would immediately initiate an environmental review in order to evaluate alternative routes to the Kensington Expressway. It carries approximately 80,000 cars daily.
The review will evaluate the opportunities to create open public spaces, improve pedestrian safety, reduce noise pollution and increase noise levels, as well as enhance local roadways to support safe vehicle operation.
The governor says her proposed $32.8 billion State Capital Plan includes nearly $3 billion for infrastructure projects.
“Reconnecting neighborhoods that were severed by asphalt highways is a cornerstone of our bold infrastructure vision for a better New York,” Gov. Hochul stated. “Better infrastructure is better quality life. Communities around the Kensington Expressway, Buffalo, and across the state deserve nothing less.” Hochul said. These projects will correct the wrongs of the past by creating safer and more reliable transit networks, landscapes that bring people together, and routes that are more friendly for bikers and pedestrians.
The project boundaries include the eastern limit at East Ferry Street, and the western limit at Best Street.
“The Kensington Expressway project represents a historic opportunity to enhance safety and mobility in and around the City of Buffalo and importantly, reconnects neighborhoods that have been divided for more than a half a century, State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said. The Department of Transportation is pleased to have the environmental review process underway. It looks forward to continuing to work with the community and all its partners to further develop the project to help connect neighbors within the great city of Buffalo and throughout the great state of New York.
“Repairing the infrastructure mistakes of the past is a big step towards re-connecting communities and improving our overall quality of life, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said in a statement. Governor Hochul’s proposed State Capital Plan will examine the impacts and the future of the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, seeking a way to restore connectivity to the historic Humboldt Parkway neighborhood, facilitating non-vehicular traffic and bringing people together. I want to thank Governor Hochul and her willingness to take on these important tasks, which will hopefully lead us to restoring communities throughout our great state.
“I thank Governor Hochul for jump-starting the process to reconnect the neighborhoods which were severed by construction of the Kensington Expressway, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement. This is a landmark moment in our long-standing efforts for one Buffalo City. These communities will be physically linked again, which will have tremendous socio-economic and visual benefits for future generations.
The governor says the Kensington Expressway replaced the Humboldt Parkway with a below-grade highway that severed the connection between the surrounding neighborhoods.
A report is expected to be published in the summer.