Rep. Brian Higgins told Spectrum News on Tuesday the best redevelopment plan regarding the Skyway is to tear it down.
"We just want to put Buffalo in a position to be able to make a smart decision about its transportation future," said Higgins, D-NY26.
He says the decades-old structure is not sustainable.
"It's unsafe — it wouldn't be approved for construction today," Higgins added. "Without options you’re stuck with continuing to rehabilitate an old bridge that has outlived its usefulness.”
The alternate plan includes synchronized traffic signals to be used throughout the east side. Higgins says it would make the commute to and from downtown Buffalo much faster.
"The city of Pittsburgh has fully implemented synchronized signaling to reduce commute times by 25 to 40 percent," said Higgins.
Higgins says Buffalo can experience the same with the new technology. The congressman says the plan will reintroduce activity to main streets and communities that were once vibrant.
"The Skyway would be replaced with a number of changes: an arterial on Tiffs Street which would move traffic from the Southtowns to the I-90. Eliminate all of this, open this up for parks and recreation,” he said.
Higgins says his plan will save money.
"Let’s utilize most efficiently the current infrastructure that we have, before investing a lot of money into new pavement roads so that we can get a better return on our investment," he said.
Higgins' plan will be studied for at least 24 months before it is handed over to the Federal Highway Administration, which will make the final decision on whether the project is green-lighted.