NIAGARA FALLS — Removal efforts for the south section of the Robert Moses Parkway will soon receive a substantial financial boost thanks to the "Buffalo Billion."
Through the initiative, the state will invest $10 million to remove the current limited-access expressway and replace it with an at-grade parkway which will reunite downtown Niagara Falls with its most valuable and famous asset and one of the state's most visited parks.
For many years, the expressway has been seen as an obstacle between city neighborhoods and the waterfront. This project will fully restore visual and physical access to the various natural and cultural features along the Niagara River and the Niagara Gorge, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"The Robert Moses Parkway is an outdated impediment to the growth of the City of Niagara Falls, as well as tourism opportunities in the city's urban core," Cuomo said in a press release. "I am pleased that New York state, through the Buffalo Billion initiative, is continuing to invest state resources to leverage tens of millions of dollars in private investment to boost the economy and create jobs. This public infrastructure investment will help the citys tourism business by routing traffic through the city instead of bypassing it."
The public infrastructure investment is also serving a magnet for private investment, as four hotel developers have already lined up, pledging nearly $50 million dollars in private investment as a result of this project which will restore the connection between downtown and its wonder of the world.
According to the press release, WNYREDC identified tourism as one of its target growth areas because of the high potential for job creation and economic growth. Global tourism is a fast growing industry and a significant job creator with as many as 15 jobs created per $1 million spent by travelers.