Spend extra money and build a tunnel
I wanted to comment on the recent article and comments about the Skyway. It isn’t functionally obsolete, as many people write in The News. The bridge crosses two federally maintained, navigable waterways over the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal that both see substantial commercial shipping traffic. The bridge must remain standing or be replaced with a tunnel to allow for continued use of these two channels and the industrial jobs that they support.
At this time, there are five active bulk product docks, at least three inactive docks that occasionally see traffic, the Power Authority ice boom storage facility, the Great Lakes Towing tugboat dock, a sailboat marina and the fireboat slip all up above the bridge. A lift span in place of the Skyway is not a good idea since any vessel transit through the bridge would back up car traffic downtown and along Route 5 anytime the bridge was put up.
In my opinion, the only viable option for a complete replacement without losing any vehicle capacity, while also keeping the roadway impact on the waterfront to a minimum, is to spend the extra money and build a tunnel.