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8                      • Thursday, July 18, 2024
                                                                 Italian pedestrian bridge makes trip through Erie Canal
                                                                   from page 2
                                                                  Italy in early June on a barge and
                                                                  traveled  across  the  ocean  and
                                                                  through  the  New  York  harbor.  It
                                                                  was then loaded onto two barges at
                                                                  the Port of Coeymans, near Albany,
                                                                  NY, and started the final leg of its
                                                                  journey to Buffalo on the Erie Ca-
                                                                  nal  on  Friday,  July  5,  2024.  The
                                                                  barges began arriving at Ralph Wil-
                                                                  son Park on Tuesday, July 16, 2024.
                                                                     Following the arrival, construc-
                                                                  tion  crews  will  begin  to  carefully
                                                                  remove the bridge from the barges
                                                                  and place the four pieces on shore.
                                                                  The bridge will then be welded to-
                                                                  gether at Ralph Wilson Park and is
                                                                  anticipated to be installed over the
                                                                  I-190 in October 2024. Additional
                                                                  construction  work  will  take  place  Photo courtesy of Bill Butler, Black Rock Historical Society.
                                                                  on the bridge before Ralph Wilson
                                                                  Park  begins  opening  in  phases  in  all, especially Niagara District resi- Ralph Wilson Park. Led by the com-
                                                                  2026.                         dents, to the City's waterfront.  Not munity’s input and desire for better
                                                                     “The  community  told  us  loud  only is this a bridge, it is a piece of connectivity and safety, this signifi-
                                                                  and clear that their #1 priority for  art, and we are looking forward to cant piece of infrastructure and ar-
                                                                  the  park  redesign  is  a  safer,  more  its  arrival,  installation,  and  open- chitecture  has  become  a  reality
                                                                  accessible,  more  beautiful  way  to  ing.”                 thanks to our partners at the City of
                                                                  get  to  Ralph  Wilson  Park  and  we  Mayor  Byron  W.  Brown  said, Buffalo and the State of New York.”
                                                                  took that to heart,” said Katie Cam-  “Today’s  arrival  of  the  signature  Charlie Torres, president, Puerto
                                                                  pos, executive director, Ralph Wil-  bridge is another major milestone in Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of
                                                                  son  Park  Conservancy.  “With  our  the  inclusive  and  transparent  pro- WNY,  Vice  President,  Ralph  Wil-
                                                                  committed partners, we are collec-  cess to transform the former LaSalle son Park Conservancy Board of Di-
                                                                  tively  delivering  a  bridge  that  not  Park  into  a  $110  million  world- rectors  said,  "I  was  honored  to
                                                                  only  accomplishes  that  but  is  also  class,  waterfront  destination.  This participate in Imagine LaSalle back
                                                                  architecturally and culturally signif-  exciting piece of infrastructure rep- in 2018 with my son. We were given
                                                                  icant. There has been a lot of excite-  resents  what  can  happen  when  we the opportunity to travel and experi-
                                                                  ment across New York State as the  work together. I want to thank the ence  other  inspirational  parks  and
                                                                  bridge traveled the nearly 200-year-  Ralph  C.  Wilson,  Jr.    Foundation, then  provide  input  to  envision  our
                                                                  old Erie Canal and we look forward  the Ralph Wilson Park Conservan- own world-class waterfront park in
                                                                  to welcoming our community, and  cy, and our numerous partners, dig- Buffalo.  We  dreamt  big,  including
                                                                  visitors  from  around  the  state  and  nitaries,  and  community  members this new bridge that will provide a
                                                                  country, to Ralph Wilson Park!”  for  their  thoughtful  and  extensive safer  and  more  accessible  connec-
                                                                     New York State Canal Corpora-  engagement  on  this  once-in-a-life- tion  from  the  Lower  West  Side  to
                                                                  tion Director Brian U. Stratton said,  time  project  that  will  have  a  pro- Ralph Wilson Park. I truly believe
                                                                  “On  the  eve  of  the  Erie  Canal’s  found impact on our neighborhoods this  park  will  be  one  of  the  most
                                                                  Bicentennial, the completed transat-  and  provide  a  lasting  legacy  of beautiful places in Buffalo!”
                                                                  lantic  journey  of  the  new  Ralph  Ralph  Wilson’s  commitment  to  Senator  Sean  M.  Ryan  said,
                                                                  Wilson Park Pedestrian Bridge, in-  Buffalo.”                "Ralph  C.  Wilson,  Jr.  Centennial
                                                                  cluding  its  final  leg  of  338-miles  David Egner, president & CEO, Park will be a wonderful tribute to
                                                                  from Waterford to Buffalo, is proof  Ralph  C.  Wilson,  Jr.  Foundation the life and legacy of Ralph Wilson.
                                                                  positive that our historic Erie Canal  said, “We share in the excitement of This  new  bridge  was  created  with
                                                                  is  still  capable  of  doing  exactly  the Buffalo and Western New York community input, and it will make
                                                                  what it was designed and built for –  community as we mark the arrival the  Eastern  entrance  to  the  park
                                                                  moving cargo and doing big things  of this incredible pedestrian bridge much more attractive and welcom-
                                                                  for  New  York  State.  When  it  that will become the front door to ing.”
                                                                  opened  in  Buffalo  on  October  26,
                                                                  1825,  few  residents  could  even
                                                                  imagine  the  Erie  Canal  would  be-
                                                                  come known as the most significant
                                                                  public works project of its day, and
                                                                  today’s residents are witnessing his-  July 2024
                                                                  tory again with the successful arriv-
                                                                  al of this new pedestrian bridge.”
      Spread the news?                                               David  A.  Rivera,  Niagara  Dis-
                                                                  trict  Buffalo  Common  Council
        Scan this QR Code and                                     Member, said, "The City of Buffalo
       send it to your friends to                                 has been eagerly awaiting the arriv-
      read this week’s “paper”!                                   al of this very special bridge, which
                                                                  will  provide  a  safe  connection  for
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