Buffalo / Niagara Falls: 1971 Regional Highway Plan

(click to enlarge)

As 1971 approached, much of the current day highway network was already in place. The mainline New York Thruway (Interstate 90) had already been completed for nearly fiften years, and the Niagara Extension (Interstate 190) for just over ten years. Other important transportation links, such as the Kensington Expressway (NY 33), Scajaquada Expressway (NY 198), and the Youngmann Expressway (Interstate 290), also known as the Power Line Expressway, named due to power lines that parallel the freeway were also built. However, a number of lingering questions regarding the state of the highway network in the Niagara Frontier remained. Connections from the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls to its suburbs were proposed, as well as an outer belt freeway.

Most of the recommended highway proposals included in these reports were either partially constructed, or did not even leave the drawing board. With the era of mass freeway construction in the Northeastern United States beginning to enter its waning period and finances starting to dry up, there were different results for some of the proposals. Some were constructed as arterials instead of freeways, and others ran out of gas halfway through its journey. As a former resident of Erie County, it is my opinion that the construction of these proposed highways would have made a world of difference in the commuting patterns in Erie and Niagara Counties.

Commentary on Proposals

Aurora Expressway Belt Expressway Buffalo's Inner Loop
Erie-Highland ArterialKensington Expressway Extension Lake Ontario State Parkway
La Salle ArterialLancaster ExpresswayLockport Expressway
NY 5 ExtensionSouthern Expressway Twin Cities Memorial Highway

Sources and Links:

  • History of the New York Thruway: J.P. Wing
  • Design Report - Phase II: De Leuw, Cather & Company
  • Return to Gribblenation
  • Return to Planned New York

  • Page Created: January 22, 2005
    Last Updated: January 22, 2005

    (C) 2005 Douglas Kerr/Gribblenation