Letter to the Editor of the Grand Island Dispatch
again our misguided State Assemblymen have been blinded by their own personal
ambitions. Robin Schimminger is
advocating the construction of a bridge that will traverse the widest part of
the Niagara River between Tonawanda and Canada. His intentions make it clear that the environment that
defines the quality of life in and around Grand Island will sacrificed in the
name of this ill conceived plan to shuttle truck traffic through Tonawanda, so
he and his constituents can harvest the benefits.
surprising is the endorsement of this plan by our own State Assemblyman Sam
Hoyt. This is the person who
supposedly looks out for the interests of Grand Island. Yet, his actions
demonstrate that our welfare is not high on his list of priorities. Mr. Hoyt flatly stated in a letter to the Dispatch that he
opposes bridges or truck plazas on Grand Island. In that same letter he endorsed the Tonawanda crossing
dismissing the environmental impacts with a halfhearted proposal to build a
surprisingly, neither of these individuals have researched the true costs of
this pipe dream. First of all, a
tunnel in today’s dollars at the Tonawanda location will conservatively cost
1.3 billion dollars. Funding
this white elephant with Federal and State tax dollars at a time when this
country is fighting a war against terrorism and in the midst of our
long-standing economic crisis is absolutely foolish.
impacts of this folly now get a little clearer as the long bridge crossing
becomes the fall back position with a price tag of 750 million dollars.
Neither the bridge or tunnel options have viability without improvements
to the established transportation infrastructure. Its not surprising that this
detail has been conveniently overlooked by these two esteemed Assemblymen.
For example, Route 190 will have to be widened to three lanes in each
direction. This plan will require
the filling of a strip of the Niagara River at least 500 feet wide for about 1.5
miles resulting in the added loss of 100 acres of shallow water habitat.
This is but one of many such improvements that will be needed.
The combined cost of will easily eclipse the multi-billion dollar
with this magnitude of cost where would the project advocates go next?
Certainly, the priority will be to find a lower cost alternative. The
obvious target is Grand Island with its extensive vacant land and miles of
narrow river corridor. The bridge and truck plaza will turn Grand Island into a
wasteland of truck terminals, pavement, warehouses and traffic congestion.
Thanks, Mr. Hoyt for looking out for our interests.
Islanders, you can stop this lunacy. Please
come to the last public workshop on the Peace Bridge expansion project on
Saturday, December 7th at the studios of WNED.
Vote down Schimminger’s folly and preserve Grand Island’s quality of