There's progress being made along the Niagara Gorge in the City of Niagara Falls.

It is an addition by subtraction involving the removal of the northern section of the Robert Moses Parkway.

For a good view of it, I suggest parking your car in the lot at the North End Amtrak station and walking down along Whirlpool Street to the trailhead next to the Whirlpool Bridge. 

What you'll find there is one of the more spectacular views of the Niagara Gorge you will ever see. If you stand at the railing in the right spot, you can look all the way down along the lower Niagara River and, at the right time of day in the right type of light, you'll be able to see the mist rising from the Falls, the Rainbow Bridge and Maid of the Mist boats floating around. 

This is not just one of the more engaging places to visit along the gorge. 

It is also in an area of great historic significance. 

A placard on the railing in this particular location reads: "A Bridge to Freedom." It offers a brief description of the community's ties to the Underground Railroad and the slaves who passed through on their way to freedom in Canada back in the 1800s. 

Up until recently, this place where locals and visitors alike can take in an amazing view, start a hike along trails leading into the gorge or reflect on a significant piece of American history was obscured by an overpass that was once part of the parkway that Robert Moses built. 

The trailhead and the fact that it was located behind an overpass was lost on me until January 2013 when I attended a press conference in the same location that was held by U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Niagara Falls and Buffalo. 

Higgins used the spot to illustrate why he thought it made sense for the powers-that-be to support removal of the parkway, which he deemed a "barrier" to the community's redevelopment. 

On a dreary, overcast winter day more than six years ago, Higgins lamented the presence of a highway overpass in front of one of the prime viewing areas along the top of the Niagara Gorge. He argued that the configuration made it harder for people, especially out-of-towners, to simply walk up and enjoy the view for themselves. 

"(Robert) Moses built a lot of things and named them for himself," Higgins said. "Some of those things were beneficial and some of those things were ruinous. I would argue that this Robert Moses Parkway is ruinous."

It was, but it isn't anymore. 

The signs of parkway removal are now fully visible in the city's North End. 

The overpass is gone and so are the parkway lanes that used to run along the gorge in that area. 

Orange construction signs and cones are all over the place on Whirlpool Street and the connecting streets leading up to Main Street. 

It's still very much a work in progress, but once the earth movers and the construction workers are finished, Whirlpool Street will be freshly paved and lined with new sidewalks.

The larger plan calls for the development of a trail system in the area where the parkway once stood. 

After years of often ugly debate, the work is finally happening and it has the potential to ignite a seismic shift in the way people who live in the city and across Western New York view the Falls, especially the long-dormant Main Street corridor.

Finally, the Falls is beginning to reconnect with its best asset - its Gorge-front - in a manner similar to what Buffalo did through the redevelopment of Canalside and the Outer Harbor. 

The spot above the Gorge where you can see the tree-lined lower Niagara River, the mist of the Falls and the boats passing under the Rainbow Bridge is the kind communities around the world can envy. 

It is here, just off Main Street in the Falls and in Niagara County.

And now, thankfully, you no longer have to walk under a parkway underpass to enjoy it.

Contact Regional News Director Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250.

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