Western New York Heritage

Buffalo Skyway: 1950s

The Buffalo Skyway, seen here around 1956, opened in 1955. It was hailed as one part of a grand plan for the "rapid transit of automobiles" around the city of Buffalo. The other jewels in the city's transportation necklace, the Kensington Expressway and the
Scajaquada Expressway, were under construction, funded primarily by New York State. These would be joined to the New York State Thruway, nearing completion at the time of this photo. [At left is Buffalo City Hall; beyond the Skyway in the photo's center is the Memorial Auditorium.]

In 2004, the Skyway is still a major transportation artery into and around the city. Discussion continues about the future viability of this elevated highway, given its limited use in winter due to frequent weather closures, its high rate of accidents, and the continuing cost of maintenance. The roadway is also seen by many as a symbolic, if not literal, barrier to the city's waterfront.