Rochester-based SWBR Architects has won $100,000 for its Buffalo Skyway redesign proposal, beating out several others in a contest sponsored by the State of New York.
The “City of Lights” proposal calls fora $300 million project, would see the portion of the Skyway north of the Buffalo River torn down.
“We kind of knew what would work and what wouldn’t,” said SWRB landscape architect Bill Price. He told wgrz.tv that the practice’s experience in western New York may have given their efforts an advantage over others submitted from groups across the country.
“We kind of knew what proposals have been made here before, and which ones moved forward and which did not,” Price said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Congressman Brian Higgins said they would commit to seek secure as much as $600 million in state and federal resources to fully fund the skyway removal and new infrastructure development. A statement from the governor’s office said the project would utilize the expedited EIS and design-build process to allow its completion in less than five years — four years faster than the typical process for projects of this nature.
To get started, in addition to the $175,000 committed for the design competition (the second and third place contestants received $50,000 and $25,000 respectively), Cuomo said “I’m willing to take the first step today and pledge $10 million to start the environmental impact statement and start it right now.”