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Post date: February 11 1999

Spitzer Announces Support For Signature Bridge

Calling it "the best choice as both a gateway and an economic development tool," Attorney General Spitzer today announced his support for a new "signature bridge" to replace the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.
"Just as St. Louis has its arch and New York the Statue of Liberty, a signature bridge would be a bold visual statement to the world about Buffalo and Western New York's renaissance," said Spitzer.

Separately, the Attorney General announced that Barbra Kavanaugh, head of his Buffalo regional office, would be his official representative to the 10-member Peace Bridge Authority.

Spitzer joined U.S. Senators Daniel P. Moynihan and Charles E. Schumer in advocating the signature bridge concept.

Sen. Moynihan said, "I am most pleased to say that has joined Senator Schumer and me in our efforts to see that Buffalo and Fort Erie will begin the next century with a world class bridge."

Spitzer is requesting that the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard deny a permit to expand the existing bridge until questions concerning its environmental impact and ultimate cost can be cleared up.

"We should not rush to judgment on the twin bridge concept," said Spitzer. "Given that this is a project that will cost more than $100 million, and will have a significant impact on the community for decades to come, I feel that alternatives to the twin bridge should be explored more fully."

The cost of the proposed twin bridge is estimated to be $90 million to $110 million, which is significantly higher than earlier projections. A so-called signature bridge- utilizing a completely new design- is estimated to cost between $80 million and $90 million.

Spitzer said he supports construction of a new bridge because of the apparent cost advantage and because it would result in a more aesthetically appealing structure.

Spitzer has directed Kavanaugh to advance this concept from her new position on the Peace Bridge Authority. The Authority will make the ultimate decision on either replacing or expanding the bridge.