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Construction on a multi-year, $16.3 million makeover of Niagara Street, one of the most heavily traveled in Buffalo, will begin this week.

The first phase will include a resurfacing of the street between Niagara Square and Virginia Street. It will cost $2.8 million and is expected to be finished next summer.

“This is the gateway into America for many people who come from Canada,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown.

Other phases will include sections of Niagara Street between Virginia Street and Porter Avenue and between Porter Avenue and Ontario Street, as well as improvements at the Ferry Street intersection at Rich Products. Completion of all phases is expected by late 2017.

The number of vehicle lanes could decrease where feasible, though the city realizes the southern part of the street carries 12,000 vehicles a day, said Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak.

Bike lanes, new street lighting, sidewalks and green infrastructure will be added. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is adding a park and ride lot at Niagara and Ontario streets, as well as five buses that will run on compressed natural gas.

Brown announced the start of construction with Rep. Brian Higgins.

Local, state and federal tax dollars are being spent on the project.