Project Name: Buffalo Harbor Bridge NEPA Analysis

Summary: Assessment of ecological impacts of bridge design options

Client: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Project Location: Buffalo, NY

Services Provided:

  • NEPA, EAs, and EISs
  • Biological Assessment
  • Agency Consultation
  • Habitat Assessment
  • Endangered Species Act Consulting
  •  Rare Threatened & Endangered Fish Species Assessment

Project Timeframe: 2008 - 2014

Relationship with Client: Since 2001

Client Needs:
In order to relieve traffic congestion in downtown Buffalo, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT) are planning a major new bridge crossing of the Buffalo River. The project area is comprised of an approximately 1-mile corridor extending from the Inner Harbor area of downtown to a southern terminus in the vicinity of the Outer Harbor. The ECHDC considered several alternative locations and designs to fit the traffic corridor within the limits of existing infrastructure, harbor traffic and with minimal impacts to environmental resources. Parsons Brinckerhoff is the project engineer and needed a qualified consultant to assist with the the environmental assessment (EA).
Kleinschmidt Solution:
Kleinschmidt reviewed the design alternatives and drafted all of the Preferred Design Alternative sections pertaining to general ecology and endangered species for the EA for each design option. Kleinschmidt then reviewed and assessed ecological impacts of the final design, consistent with applicable New York state and federal environmental regulations.
Client Benefits:
Kleinschmidt worked as part of a collaborative team providing insight and expertise with regard to Common Tern, fisheries resources, and function and ecology of important areas of submerged vegetation within the Niagara River. Kleinschmidt provided deliverables in a timely fashion and within budget which allowed Parsons Brinckerhoff, ECHDC, and NYDOT additional flexibility in planning future aspects of the project.