Imagine LaSalle Vision Coming Closer to Fruition

Architect firm unveils design of I-190 pedestrian bridge

Brendan Keany
March 10, 2020 - 9:14 pm
Imagine LaSalle

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

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BUFFALO (WBEN) - Another step in the process to a final product for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park Tuesday night, as Imagine LaSalle held another public meeting.

One of the main talking points of the meeting concerned the pedestrian bridge which will span the I-190 to connect the park with surrounding neighborhoods.

"People are going to see a forward-looking form, and innovative arched form that also has a connection to the past," said Powell Draper, director of the New York office of Schlaich Bergermann Partner, an architecture and engineering firm. "It's also intended to be a light weight structure, that's our firm's specialty, and what that allows for is potentially the bridge to be lifted into place in one piece, and that's going to minimize the disruption to the community and the road way, as well as the rail tracks."

Pedestrian Bridge

Draper says the intent is for bridge construction to be on a relatively accelerated timeline, meaning about a year to build.

Listen to Draper's full comments below:

On the whole, the project is now moving into the design development phase of the project. Project representatives discussed shoreline resiliency, the layout of the roads and circulation patterns through the park, and of course, they talked about programming and the kind of experience the public will have when visiting.

"One of the things that makes current LaSalle Park so beloved is the fields that are there," said Paul Seck, partner with Michael Van Valkenburgh. "We're going to be upgrading those fields - we've been working with all of the organizations who have run those programs and have the people's interest in it. So, we're going to be upgrading those, but we're also looking at other aspects...we've heard a lot of different sports that are requested - pickeball, volleyball - other things like that will be added in."

Seck says there will also be a large contingent of passive space with more paths for walking, open lawns for picnic areas and scenic enjoyment. He says the goal is to blend the active and passive space into a park that really creates a unique dynamic.

As far as a timeline is concerned, the design development phase will last until about Thanksgiving, and then it will take roughly another nine months for construction documents. However, he noted that an project along the Colonel Ward Pumping Station and phase three of the skate park will begin to take shape in this calendar year.

"The rough period in nine months and nine months, but there will be some things that will most likely be pushed up and fast-tracked to get the ball rolling," said Seck.

Listen to Seck's full comments below:

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