BUFFALO, N.Y. -- From the Buffalo Billion to the new budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to Buffalo Wednesday to talk about the state's ongoing investment in Western New York. That includes major transportation projects to help reconnect parts of the community divided by roadways.
"As part of this plan, we have the most robust investment in upstate New York in the history of the state of New York," said Cuomo, D-New York, in describing the state's spending plan as the most difficult and ambitious budget in his six years in office.
The budget includes funding for what Cuomo says will be transformative projects for the Queen City.
Following the crash that killed a three-year-old when a car veered off the Scajaquada Expressway near Delaware Park last May, there have been constant calls for change to make the roadway safer.
"We've done everything we can, we've put up barriers, we've reduced the mile per hours on it, we've changed signage, but frankly it's still not enough. I think the community is right, they want a permanent fix for the Scajaquada and we have $30 million dollars in this budget to begin reconstruction," said Cuomo.
"After so many years of hard work, Buffalo will finally have a boulevard that fits the character of the city, reflects our history and reflects the grandure of our neighborhoods and our Olmsted Park," said Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo.
The governor says the roadway will have a wide median, and safer crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists. They hope to start construction next year.
"It was originally the Humboldt Parkway, it was beautiful, it was part of the Olmsted design," Cuomo said. "In the mid-50s, we had a better idea, but it turned out not to be a better idea, which was to move vehicles in and out of Buffalo faster."
Now, $6 million has been designated for the Department of Transportation to do an environmental and design assessment of covering the Kensington Expressway, which residents say has divided the area.
"It will tell us exactly how and how much it will cost to restore our community. I will tell you whatever that dollar amount is, it will be small in comparison to what it will restore," said Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo.
Restoration along Buffalo's Main Street will continue with the help of $4 million in state funding for the next phase of the project to bring cars back.
"Buffalo is on its way, it is built to lead, to keep growing you just have to keep going. All the arrows are pointed in the right direction," said Cuomo.