September 4, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Public Viewing of Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition Top Submissions

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Public Viewing of...

Submissions Are Available to View Online and at The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Downtown Central Library until September 13

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that members of the public can now view the top submissions to "Aim for the Sky: Competition to Re-Imagine the Buffalo Skyway Corridor" and submit questions that may be used in the live pitch event leading up to the awards ceremony. The Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition has challenged the nation's top urban designers, economists, planners and architects to reimagine the corridor - stretching four miles from downtown to Lackawanna - while also building on the investment and momentum that has transformed the city in recent years. Participants have been asked to draw inspiration from the city's unique waterfront landscape, respond to the community's collective vision for Buffalo, and acknowledge the region's rich history. The top submissions are available to view at www.esd.ny.gov/skywayideas, or at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Downtown Central Library at 1 Lafayette Square, until September 13. The library is open seven days a week (view hours here).  After reviewing the submissions, individuals may submit questions online that the Review Panel may use during the live pitch event.

 

"These submissions showcase creative ideas that re-imagine the Skyway Corridor and propose innovative ways to enhance Buffalo's waterfront," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage anyone who has an interest in Buffalo's future to view the ideas that build on a decade of accomplishments along the waterfront and seek to transform this community."

 

"Our effort to re-imagine the Skyway corridor has brought out the best and brightest with creative ideas for the next generation of Buffalo's waterfront," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.  "In recent years, tremendous progress has unfolded at Canalside and the Outer Harbor - while the Skyway has stood by as a stark reminder of the past. With this competition, we are embracing innovative solutions to meet our transportation needs and build a stronger future for Buffalo and Western New York."

 

Competition teams were challenged to share solutions that could be implemented with a degree of affordability, feasibility and technical achievability (taking anticipated traffic volume into account) and superior design quality. The top submission will be awarded a $100,000 prize, second place will be awarded $50,000, and third place will be awarded $25,000. Empire State Development received more than 100 submissions during Part 1 of the Competition - which included "summary-level" submissions that were screened against the "affordable, feasible, and achievable" criteria, resulting in the 20 teams that were invited to submit final presentation boards and proposals during Part 2 of the Competition. Sixteen of the 20 teams submitted final proposals that are now available to view at the library and online. This list will be winnowed to eight teams that will be asked to pitch their ideas to a Review Panel in Buffalo.

 

As previously announced by Governor Cuomo, the judging panel is chaired by Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky, with 10 panelists including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, and local and national experts in the fields of architecture, design, urban planning and transportation.

 

Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky said, "These submissions will help recapture Buffalo's greatest asset - its waterfront - and write a new chapter for the Buffalo Skyway Corridor. This is an incredible opportunity to consider changes to the expressway that can have a positive, meaningful and lasting impact on the corridor and the community."

 

In February, Governor Cuomo announced his plan for a national design competition to solicit the best ideas for a new vision for the current Skyway Corridor. The Skyway, a four-lane limited access expressway, extends four miles along the City's Buffalo River and Lake Erie waterfront, and carries almost 40,000 trips per day of commuter traffic as part of the regional highway system. Completed in 1955, the Skyway was originally designed to connect truck traffic from multiple large and small factory complexes and the Port of Buffalo to the then-fledgling interstate highway system. Yet with the closings of the region's major steel plants in the 1980s and changing land uses along the corridor from heavy manufacturing to recreation, the Skyway now largely services daily commuter traffic from the Southtowns.

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