The project marks a major milestone for the $56.7 million New York Gateway Connections Improvement project in Buffalo, and complements the state's record $21.1 billion investment in New York State's roads and bridges.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured the site of a former steel mill in South Buffalo where a blaze this week kept firefighters busy and prompted the evacuation of 300 homes downwind amid air quality concerns.
Authorities told residents of Lackawanna and neighboring communities to stay in their homes.
The schools that were advised to shelter in place include Lorraine Elementary#72, Discovery School #67, and Bilingual Academy #33, as a precautionary measure. Other tenants at the facility include a mix of light manufacturing, logistics, storage and steel supply businesses.
People living next door to the property reported hearing explosions soon after the fire started.
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A fire broke out at a former steel factory in Lackawanna, N.Y., on Wednesday morning, the Lackawanna Police Department said. He was joined by a number of officials, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
The smoke plume from the blaze is being logged on weather radar.
Great Lakes Industrial Development, the owner of the Bethlehem Steel site, released a statement saying they are grateful that all employees at the site are safe and thanked firefighters for their efforts in battling the fire. The roof and some walls of the building collapsed.
There has been no word on what caused the massive fire.
Bill Pienta of Fredonia, former director for the District 4 Northeast U.S. Steelworkers remembers when Bethlehem Steel plant employed more than 22,000 workers.