BUFFALO, N.Y. — ​Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday announced that the State Department of Transportation will immediately begin an environmental review to assess alternatives to the Kensington Expressway. The expressway carries about 80,000 cars per day.    

The review will assess opportunities to create new open public spaces, enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety and reduce impacts of noise and air pollution, as well as enhancements to the local roadways to facilitate safe vehicle operations.

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 said. "Better infrastructure means better quality of life, and the communities around the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo and across our state deserve nothing less. These projects will help right the wrongs of the past through safer and reliable transit networks, landscapes designed to bring communities together, and routes that are friendlier for pedestrians and bikers."     

Project boundaries include the eastern limit of East Ferry Street and 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 excited to get this environmental review process underway and looks forward to working with the community and all our partners to further develop this project to help reconnect neighbors, one to another, within the great City of Buffalo and across 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 thank Governor Hochul for her vision and willingness to take on these important projects, which hopefully will lead to restoration of communities across 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 milestone moment in our long-standing efforts to create one inclusive and equitable City of Buffalo. Physically linking these communities back together again will bring tremendous socio-economic, visual, social, and emotional benefits for generations to come."

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 set to be published this summer.