by: Eli George (WIVB) – link to video
Questions came up when someone noticed work being done on a relatively new bike path near the outer harbor.
It is not a path where people run and bike every day, and yet granite blocks were used to pave the way for pedestrians along Fuhrmann Boulevard. The expensive surface is getting some mixed reviews. The 20,000 square feet of granite slabs in 2′ by 2′ blocks are becoming a part of the industrial heritage trail.
Len Makolinski has mixed feelings about that movie, saying, “I don’t know, to me it seems like a big waste. Could have done better things with that stuff?”
The slabs were originally to be used for a walkway across from the World Trade Center in Manhattan, but were rejected because they were not bright enough. The State Department of Transportation was able to secure the expensive material for Buffalo.
DOT Spokesman Susan Surdej said, “We were just at the right place at the right time. We were in the midst of designing the industrial heritage trail along Buffalo’s outer harbor, and we were accepted as a reuse for those granite slabs.”
As workers placed block after block over the top of an asphalt foundation, Bill Henneberry couldn’t help but notice. “I was wondering why they’re putting granite over the top of the bicycle path. The bicycle path seems to be pretty smooth to me, and the granite, maybe it’s not finished, but it’s pretty rough,” he said.
But Mike Fitzpatrick, a frequent bike rider, thinks the granite is just what’s needed. “I think it’s very cool,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place to ride your bike. You got the water right here. I just saw a deer… a deer was ahead of me as I was riding my bike. Buffalo’s turning around and looking beautiful.”
Surdej says in addition to the granite, they were able to use some limestone from the old Memorial Auditorium for benches along the pathway. She couldn’t put a price tag on the granite, but does say the project should be finished next year.