removal is affordable
Gazette, 4 July 2000
Niagara Heritage Partnership advocates the complete removal of the Robert Moses
Parkway from Niagara Falls to Lewiston. We
want to clear up several misperceptions about our proposal.
first misperception is that removal would be extremely expensive, ranging from
$60 to $80 million. These figures
Heritage Partnership received two informal estimates and the figure we’ve been
mentioning, $2 million, is actually the higher of the two.
We rounded it off in the following way: The estimate was $75,000 per lane
mile. That’s a single lane of
concrete a mile long. Since the parkway is four lanes of concrete, the cost would
be $300,000 per mile. Subtracting
the lanes that run over the power plant (one mile) leaves 5.5 miles to be
removed, which comes to $1,650,000.
were told bridge removal is an extra $50,000.
That leaves $300,000 for exit and entrance ramp redesign and construction
and for the reconfiguration of Findlay Drive for vehicle access into Whirlpool
Park. These necessary construction
projects would undoubtedly be more than $300,000, but even tripling or
quadrupling that wouldn’t come close to some of the figures being
irresponsibly bandied about.
were also told the estimate included the roadbed itself, the gravel beneath, and
the curbstones. Disposal would be
the responsibility of the company doing the removal and so it would become the
owner of a huge amount of recyclable product.
The underlying gravel and curbstones would be ready to use for other
jobs; the broken pieces of concrete roadbed could be run through a stone crusher
to become an aggregate with potential for reuse.
Other potential uses include that of fill, lake shore stabilization, or
artificial reef building for Lake Ontario or upper river fisheries.
Thus “where to put all that concrete” isn’t an actual problem
the parkway is retained, its eventual replacement will still require dealing
with old concrete. It is in very
bad condition now and will soon be half a century old, which suggests
replacement might not be that far away. Where
will we put all the concrete then?
misperception is reflected in the idea that people should stop thinking about
the parkway and start thinking about fixing potholes and repaving the streets of
Niagara Falls, New York. This
charge has been most often leveled at Niagara Falls councilmen, D’Angelo in
particular, as if funds for parkway removal and restoration are coming from the
city budget. While we all
appreciate the absence of potholes, fixing them is one of those “small
dreams” NHP spoke of at the public meeting at the Earl W. Brydges Library on
February 29, 2000.
guess street repair is on D’Angelo’s list, but his vision for the Waterfront
Revitalization goes beyond that to a tax base so strengthened that potholes
become legend. You’d have to
explain to young children, if someone said the work in front of them, what a
Waterfront Revitalization Task Force, incidentally, of which D’Angelo is a
member, has not been advocating parkway removal. The Niagara Heritage Partnership, of which he is not a
member, is the organization proposing removal and restoration.
most likely funding sources for this would be money already allocated on the
state or federal level for environmental restoration projects.
This money cannot be shifted into pothole repair for the city of Niagara
Falls. Niagara Heritage Partnership
believes, however, that parkway removal and the restoration of natural
landscapes with hiking and bicycling trails would be an important element to the
revitalization of Main Street.
revitalization would be accomplished with investment from the private sector,
arising from a redirected tourism market. Additional
details are available in remarks to Niagara business associations at
www.nfwhc.org/groups/nhp.htm. It is the hope of the Niagara Heritage Partnership
that, based on additional information, those against removal and restoration
might reconsider and decide to direct their creative energies and abilities
toward what is environmentally and economically best for our region.
Baxter, Ransomville, New York