From the Morning Memo:

Buffalo’s waterfront has seen a major a renaissance over the last decade, thanks in large part to significant state and federal investments.

However, a large structure still casts a shadow over the Canalside attractions downtown…literally.

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo summed it up: “The classic mistake was building a highway along the waterfront.”

Cuomo wants a plan for the city’s Skyway, and he wants it ASAP. The governor, during a stop in Buffalo yesterday, expanded on a national contest looking for new concepts for the elevated highway connecting I-190 and Route 5.

Cuomo said he wants the contest completed in the next six months. He also announced a panel to decide the winners, including Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

“I’m sure many of the ideas will say keep the skyway,” Cuomo said. “There are cities that have kept the skyway. Develop underneath the skyway. Develop other access. So, there is a very good possibility that the skyway may remain or be converted into an alternative use – like the High Line.”

The governor is not part of the panel, but sounded like he had his own vision for this project. He gushed about New York City’s High Line – a repurposed rail line that was turned into an elevated walkway and park.

“When I first heard of it, I thought it was almost implausible,” he said. “I could not have been more wrong. It has turned into a phenomenon of tourism activity.”

These kinds of parks may actually be becoming a trend in the state. Albany is in the process of finishing its own Skyway Park, repurposing an old I-787 ramp on the waterfront.

And the Walkway Over the Hudson, which repurposed an old train bridge across the Hudson River connecting Highland and Poughkeepsie, has proved enormously popular. At 1.28 miles from end to end, it’s the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.