An $18 million contract has been granted to remove the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls.
The three-part project will remove a portion of the parkway from Main Street to Findlay Drive.
The end result will be more access to the Niagara River Gorge.
"Finally after 20 years of work, our dreams as a people of here in Niagara Falls is to reconnect with our waterfront," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
In a statement, New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to creating more open space and recreational opportunities has boosted quality of life and economic opportunity for all New Yorkers and the transformation of the former Robert Moses Parkway into a parklike setting will maintain Niagara Falls’ status as a major tourist destination for years to come.”
According to the DOT, the project is the largest expansion of green space since the Niagara Reservation was built in 1885.
"For nearly 60 years this Parkway has been a barrier between Niagara Falls neighborhoods and arguably the most magnificent waterfront in the world," said Rep. Brian Higgins. "Tearing down the Robert Moses Parkway is an important step in righting a historic wrong, showcasing the region for all who visit and building up a community through greater access to their waterfront.”
Dyster told Spectrum News phase one of construction will begin with Whirlpool and Third Streets, and is expected to be completed by summer 2020.
"The reconstruction of Whirlpool Street — I think it's arguably the worst street in the city of Niagara Falls," said Dyster. "It's got a lot of pot holes. It's beyond repair. When it’s done it will become the main arterial through this area."
Dyster also said the finalized project will be an economic booster for the Falls.
"The development and investment community are looking at improved access to an expanded park as a trigger for greater investment in the North End," said Dyster. "People have waited a long time to see progress in terms of economic development."
A pre-construction meeting is planned for next week. The public is welcomed to an information session on November 27.