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An icon for Buffalo

The first -- in fact, the only -- editorial in today's Buffalo News Opinion section:Twodiamonds

- Region deserves an iconic bridge - Buffalo News Editorial
   This is no time to be timid.
   Even though it may seem we've been planning forever for the needed new span between Buffalo and Fort Erie, we will only have one shot at building it. What we get for our pains, our tolls and our tax money should not be something we settle for, something we can live with. It should be something we can be proud of, can be inspired by, not only now, but for the decades to come.
   A city with a history built on building, and on building with excellence -- canals, grain elevators, unique buildings and grand parks -- not only deserves but has the right to demand that the most important public improvement project of our generation be a worthy successor to that inheritance. It is necessary for not just our commercial needs but also our civic pride, the engines that will inspire and equip us to face our other problems.
   As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan [right] exhorted the Common Council, in the early days of bridge Moynihan planning: "Think of the glory!"
   It now falls to the Bridge Authority, the binational governing body that operates the crossing, to overcome any sense that the long design and approval process should result in something like architectural exhaustion.
   Of the five design alternatives presented to the public in the last round of public comments, the one bridge that does not fully measure up is the arch style. The rest, all signature towers, are acceptable and the clear favorite in our corner is the two-tower diamond design [above]. It is a bold image that would provide both beauty to the eye and a symbolic "gateway" gesture of welcome to visitors and merchants sojourning back and forth between the United States and Canada.

   Lots of images and information from the Bridge Authority:
- Elevations and footprints here.
- Fly-by and drive-through animations of:

The three-tower needle bridge:

The three-tower diamond bridge:

The two-tower needle bridge:

The two-tower diamond bridge [our favorite]:

The three-arch bridge [the most popular according to public comments]:

  Comments and information from:
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins
- U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter
- Gov. David Paterson
- Audubon New York   
- National Trust for Historic Preservation

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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