Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Falls Intermodal Transportation Center has a prospective contractor.
The Niagara Falls City Council will consider a measure tonight to award a $22,691,000 general construction contract to Scrufari Construction, Inc. of Niagara Falls for work on the long-awaited North End project.
Mayor Paul Dyster, who has long championed the transportation center project, said with council approval construction on the final phase of the project could begin next month.
“It can’t come too soon for a lot of us for a lot of different reasons,” Dyster said. “It’s going to put a lot of people to work during the construction, but also we’re anxious to get the station finished ...”
The transportation center, which was first discussed in the mid-1980s, will bring visitors closer to downtown attractions and also create spin-off investment for North End and Main Street businesses.
“I think people are going to see that there is very broad support for this project because it has the potential to positively impact so many different issues and each of those issues has its own group of stakeholders,” Dyster said.
The project has seen several delays and has been the subject of controversy in recent years, with some current and former council members questioning whether the transportation center is a wise investment in a city with many infrastructure needs.
The $40 million project is being funded largely by the state and federal governments — including a a $16.5 million grant for the final phase of the project awarded to the city by the Federal Railroad Administration in September of 2012 — and bureaucratic red tape has also caused delays, as paperwork has been shuffled back and forth between the city’s engineering consultant Wendel Duchscherer and state and federal agencies.
More recently, the city and Wendel Duchscherer were forced to rework the construction bid package, scaling back several aspects of the project after responses to a bid put out last summer came back outside of the city’s projected cost rage.