New York Power Authority Trustees Approve Up to $2 Million in Funding for Preliminary Engineering for Removal of Section of Robert Moses Parkway

Michael Saltzman

January 28, 2014


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved funding of up to $2 million for preliminary engineering and environmental review for the first phase of the Niagara Gorge Corridor Project (NGCP).  The project is intended to facilitate unimpeded pedestrian and bicycle access to the gorge rim from City of Niagara Falls neighborhoods abutting the Robert Moses Parkway and make possible the restoration of natural landscapes along the gorge.

“The Power Authority is happy to be able to help kick-start the initial phase of the Niagara Gorge Corridor Project,” said John R. Koelmel, chairman, NYPA.  “We recognize the significance being placed on this initiative and for that reason have approved a funding agreement with the USA Niagara Development Corp. for preliminary engineering and environmental review for this stage of the project.”

The Niagara Gorge Corridor Project will seek to develop an appropriately scaled transportation network to link together existing and proposed roadways, attractions, overlooks, trails and cultural and historic sites, while improving vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle access and safety features along the Niagara Gorge corridor. It will also lead to the reclamation of the natural landscapes and vistas that the gorge offers. 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in coordination with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), the City of Niagara Falls, USA Niagara Development Corporation and the Village of Lewiston, prepared a Final Scoping Report for the NGCP. The report reflects significant input from interested parties in the region.

The report provides comprehensive options for the redesign and repurposing of the parkway. There is consensus for one of the options involving the removal of a two-mile section, from State Route 104 (Main Street) to Findlay Drive in Niagara Falls, as a precursor to the planned recreational and environmental improvements.

The planned preliminary engineering initiative is the first step in carrying out the consensus option. The up-to $2 million in NYPA funding will be applied for the design and planning for the following:

Removal of bridges and other features of the Route 104 to Findlay Drive section of the parkway; Landscape and habitat restoration of the land being reclaimed by the parkway removal; Reconstruction of Whirlpool Street, which adjoins the parkway, to provide all North and South access for this portion of the Niagara River Gorge Corridor.

Operations and maintenance of the parkway are handled by DOT. The Power Authority owns sections of the parkway that exist on land acquired in connection with the construction of NYPA’s Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant.


About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information visit www.nypa.gov or follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.