Steam Donkeys Unveil Outer Harbor Bridge Plan
by Buck Quigley - posted 4:00 pm, November 14, 2014
In a bold move, the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo-based music act and global think tank—will reveal their new plans for a bridge to the outer harbor that dwarfs any proposals that have yet been put forward to link people to the lake Erie waterfront south of the Buffalo River. They will unveil their plan at an 8:30pm performance Saturday, (11/15) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. Local Americana favorites Flatbed will open the show.
“For too long we have wasted time pondering proposals to build new bridges where perfectly good bridges already exist,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “The Peace Bridge, the Skyway, the Ohio Street Bridge…there’s no problem crossing the Niagara and Buffalo rivers for Buffalo city residents. Still, we waste all this time, money and energy because we want new bridges. It’s stupid and selfish. We’re like a bunch of spoiled little siblings dissatisfied with the perfectly good hand-me-downs we got from our older brothers and sisters.”
“If we are going to build a bridge of any kind it should be unprecedented, and reflect the hopes and aspirations of our generation—not the musty, misguided dreams of our forebears,” he says.
What Quigley and his group are proposing is a new bridge that will connect the outer harbor with Cleveland, Ohio.
“Originally, we commissioned a design team of new urbanists to generate plans for a bridge that would connect the outer harbor with downtown Toronto,” says Quigley. “But a few months into the planning process it was discovered that Toronto is in fact on Lake Ontario, which is an entirely different body of water.”
Undaunted by this setback, the group went back to the graphic software and began making their vision a reality. At a press conference this afternoon, they released a preliminary visual of the entrance to the bridge—which would cut through any proposed public space or residential development and send happy motorists off on a straight shot to Cleveland.
Preliminary reaction has been overwhelmingly negative from both developers and environmentalists.
“I know we’ve tried to bamboozle the public with some preposterous plans over the years,” said one local mover and shaker, on condition of anonymity. “But this idea is so incredibly dumb that it made everyone around the bar at the Buffalo Club laugh. At least, those who weren’t secretly thinking it was pure genius, and wishing they’d come up with it first.”
“Not only would this monstrosity forever ruin fragile wetlands that have already been forever ruined many times over, but it’s entirely unnecessary,” added a key environmental expert. “The proposed footprint of such a bridge would run parallel to the existing I-90, only it would be a few miles out in the water. What would be the point?”
“Safety!” Quigley responds. “Our research showed us that the I-90 between Buffalo and Cleveland is littered with wineries. How many lives could be saved each year if drivers weren’t relentlessly tempted by free wine tastings every few miles?”
On the Buffalo-Cleveland bridge there wouldn’t be any of that. There wouldn’t even be bathrooms, or gas stations until the Erie, PA exit.
“We know the public will have questions, and we want to be as transparent as possible in the process,” Quigley stresses. “That’s why we’re holding this one meeting at the Sportsmen’s Tavern Saturday night, so the public can have an opportunity to give us input before we break ground on the project Sunday morning.”
Skeptics wonder if motorists will want to drive on a desolate ribbon of roadway in the dark winter months, with no help in sight for hundreds of miles. Quigley is confident they will.
“If you build it, they will drive on it,” he says.