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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


State, Local and Community Leaders Hail Completion of $5.8 Million Project
State, Local and Community Leaders Hail Completion of $5.8 Million Project 

            New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Regional Director Darrell Kaminski was joined today by state, local and community leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of a $5.8 million improvement project on NY Route 33 (Kensington Expressway) in the city of Buffalo, Erie County.

            “I am grateful for the tremendous partnership between the Department and the community on this project, from conception through construction,” said Acting Regional Director Kaminski.  “The collaborative community participation has set the bar high for community involvement in transportation improvement projects, and resulted in an aesthetically pleasing project that provided substantial safety benefits.”

            The Kensington Expressway project was developed to address the deficiencies of concrete retaining walls and bridge railing systems that border sections of the Kensington Expressway between the Elm-Oak arterial and Dodge Street.  The project included the repairs to and painting of retaining walls, and the installation of aesthetic concrete railing, which was developed in coordination with the community stakeholders.  The curb lines on resurfaced adjacent roadways BFNC Drive and Cherry Street were narrowed as a traffic calming measure, and allowed for newly planted trees and upgraded landscaping.  The project also constructed the Cherry Street Inspiration Garden as additional green space. 

            Joining Acting Regional Director Kaminski were State Senator Mark Grisanti, State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, City of Buffalo Councilman Demone Smith, City of Buffalo Councilman Darius Pridgen and City of Buffalo Commissioner of Public Works Stephen Stepniak.


"The improvements associated with this project have helped to improve a portion of a neighborhood in Buffalo that will help enhance the area for residents and businesses of the city," Senator Mark Grisanti said.  "I'm pleased that the major problems and obvious deficiencies were addressed, and that this project was able to come to fruition thanks to good old fashioned teamwork involving the state, the city and major stakeholders in the neighborhood."

            Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “We are pleased to see culturally relevant art installed on the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway.”

            The City of Buffalo was glad to partner with the State and the community to help address this important project concerning Route 33,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.  “The city contributed $1.1 million dollars for new curbs, sidewalks, lighting and other improvements along residential streets in the area”

            “The Kensington or the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway, is a main gateway through the city, and to see the beautification along the route is fantastic,” said Councilman Demone Smith.  “I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this project, and the infrastructure repairs completed, to keep this heavily traveled route safe for our residents and visitors.”

            The construction contract was awarded to Oakgrove Construction, Incorporated from the town of Elma, Erie County, in October 2009. 

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