The New York State Department of Transportation has issued a dramatic proposal to eliminate the Buffalo Skyway by the year 2019. Instead of demolishing the structure, as a recent urban renewal commission has suggested, The DOT’s plan calls for raising the City of Buffalo itself to match the highest point of the 110-foot tall Skyway.
“This is not a new idea,” stated Jonathan Manly, a NYS DOT spokesman. “The city of Seattle was raised dramatically 100 years ago to eliminate the flooding issues that regularly destroyed parts of that city. In Buffalo we’re not seeing floods. What we’re dealing with here is a brutal ugliness that has taken generations to achieve. But that problem would be eliminated in a mere decade simply by raising the municipal area up to the same altitudinal grade as the Skyway.”
State DOT Engineer Evan Brady says that according to the current architectural drawings, the top floor of virtually every tall structure in downtown Buffalo would serve as the first floor after the City is raised. “We would have a dramatic underground network of Grade A office space absolutely unique in the entire nation.” The major exceptions to this are City Hall and the HSBC towers, whose entry floors will be the 14th and the 21st floor respectively.
At a hastily convened press conference held under the aging span, Congressman Brian Higgins and former ambassador to Malta Anthony Gioia both sounded enthusiastic about the proposal. “We’re talking about an engineering feat that would bring tourists from around the world,” said Higgins. “What other city in the world will be able to claim that it eliminated a towering eyesore by raising itself to the same level of that very eyesore?”
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