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State Sen. Tim Kennedy Thursday urged the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council to make the removal of the Skyway a top priority.

Kennedy has said in recent months that tearing down the Skyway – something Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, has long urged – would spur private investment and boost public access.

“The removal of the Buffalo Skyway will prove to be a transformative project that will open up new opportunities for development along our waterfront,” Kennedy said. “Razing this ‘structurally deficient’ and ‘functionally obsolete’ structure will remove a physical barrier that is impeding continued economic progress at Buffalo’s waterfront.”

Earlier this week, Ken Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development, told a Senate panel that Kennedy, as the ranking Democratic member of that the agency, was looking to the regional council for direction on the future of the Skyway.