November 7, 2018
The Bethlehem Steel portion of the Shoreline Trail Extension officially opened last week, inching cyclists southward on the Shoreline Trail.
Local and state politicians hosted an opening ceremony last week for the official opening of a new 6,500-foot long, 10-foot wide multi-use trail located adjacent to the former Bethlehem Steel plant, extending from the City of Buffalo line to Dona Street in Lackawanna.
The project completion nearly marks the end of phase two of a multi-phase project to extend the Shoreline Trail to Evangola State Park. The $1.8 million project was funded through a combination of New York State Department of Transportation –Transportation Alternatives Program, federal Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”), and Erie County bond funding.
The installation of 30 new trees, benches, way-finding signs and an interpretive sign for the iron button—an art piece made from a reclaimed 50-ton pipe which once carried one million cubic feet of gas per day—are also included in phase two project plans.
The Bethlehem Steel Lackawanna Plant closed in 1983. At the time, it was the fourth largest steel mill in the world.
“Bethlehem Steel may have closed up thirty-six years ago, but the future of this site looks brighter today and now the public can see it for themselves as they enjoy the new Shoreline Trail and get a glimpse of what lies ahead here,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.
Poloncarz noted this is the first step in developing the brownfield site, with additional plans to follow, including the extension of Dona Street through the property, scheduled to be complete by spring 2019.
It's great to see Buffalo investing in its populace by continuing to embrace and invest in infrastructure supporting healthy, active lifestyles such as biking and running. This project exemplifies how our industrial past can be leveraged to provide increased access to greenspaces and pave the way for further economic development.
For more information on the project, please refer to the following resources: