Poloncarz Infrastructure Plan Envisions Grand Island Tunnel

Modified: April 1, 2016 8:45am

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Date: 
4/1/16

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Ambitious Proposal Radically Improves Landscape; Falls Outlet Opportunity Leads Speculation

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today announced an ambitious proposal to 
Augment Erie County’s infrastructure and lessen the impact on existing roads, bridges, culverts, and
Public streets with the construction of a tunnel under the Niagara River connecting Grand Island and 
Related points north to mainland Erie County. Tentatively named “The Grunnel”, the mostly underground
Indoor transportation line is envisioned to submerge at the shore of the Niagara River in a concrete base
Landing spot near Black Rock Canal Park.

Fully surrounded by an aquatic wonderland, motorists would enjoy a breathtaking underwater view of
Old Strawberry Island as they travel across the river to emerge at a station near Grand Island Town Hall.
On the way, drivers will experience the latest “smart” technology on the road that will ably monitor their 
Level of drowsiness, blood pressure, or other factors influencing their ability to competently drive and
Steer a vehicle.

The Grunnel could also be expanded in the future to provide an entirely underground driving experience between Erie County and Niagara Falls and would be by far the longest tunnel in Erie County, as well as one of the world’s longest completely unnecessary tunnels.

“We’ve got bridges, we’ve got roads, but tunnels are something we need in our inventory and now is the right time to dig one. My administration has spent nearly $100 million on road and bridge work in the past four years, but that is still not enough infrastructure spending for the Legislature, so I am proposing investing at least $700 million in the Grunnel,” said Poloncarz. “The Grunnel will put us on the map worldwide as a community that likes to think big and dig deep, and Grand Island is just the first stop. Get ready Niagara Falls because the Grunnel will soon be surfacing under you!”

Funding for the Grunnel will be assembled from a variety of sources, including federal transportation funds, state CHIPS funding, and grants from the G & T (Gnomes and Trolls) Mining Association. Additionally, other funding earmarked for county aerospace projects and satellite recovery programs by the Giambra administration will be channeled to the Grunnel, and a multi-million dollar Grunnel sponsorship agreement is being finalized with the Fuccillo Auto Group on Grand Island.

Poloncarz added, “The unemployment rate has been falling in Erie County and now with this YUGE project there will be enough jobs to employ everyone else. The Grunnel is the kind of infrastructure project that everyone can support, because we shouldn’t have tunnel vision when it comes to our future.”