Buffalo, N.Y. — The Tifft Street Pier rehabilitation project in Buffalo, N.Y., was named the 2013 Project of the Year in the structures/facilities category by the Western New York Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The Tifft Street Pier, which provides enhanced access to formerly underutilized waterfront properties and recreation areas, was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff on behalf of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

The NYSDOT’s Outer Harbor Parkway project, also known as Southtowns Connector/Buffalo Outer Harbor, completely rebuilt State Route 5 from the US Coast Guard Station to the Union Ship Canal to provide new access to the waterfront and promote development of vacant waterfront lands. The project transformed Fuhrmann Boulevard from a neglected set of parallel one-way access industrial roads into a parkway allowing two-way traffic and on-street parking. The project also included a multi-use pathway and amenities to support bicycling and walking.

The NYSDOT and Parsons Brinckerhoff developed a plan for additional enhancements that included new bridges, alignment changes, multi-use path revisions, and nodal improvements that consisted of docks, boardwalks, and a new pier at the foot of Tifft Street. 

Parsons Brinckerhoff worked closely with NYSDOT and Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects LLP in developing alternatives and design concepts that would satisfy the permitting agencies and best utilize the shoreline. The final project consists of two legs of S-shaped walkways over the water. The walkways connect with the recently constructed multi-use path along the western shoreline of Lake Erie and provide access to a central wharf/fishing pier located in the water.