Our Supporters Say It All

The following comments are speaker excerpts from our October 20, 2011 Roundtable testimony. We thank all of our participants for their support, time and passion.

Click HERE for a printable PDF of these testimonials


The completion of Route 219 is essential in not only providing patients with greater and more accessible health care, but also to help strengthen the health care industry in WNY.

Patrick J. Whalen, COO
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC)
Buffalo, NY


The momentum to complete Route 219 has been increasing. A recent Zogby poll found 84% percent of Western New Yorkers support its completion. To date, over $600,000 of private funds has been contributed to the effort and NY and PA congressional delegates support the project – already committing $442 million. The major portion is already complete. The principal gap requires approximately 167 miles of new construction; and just 20 miles are in New York State.

Meg Lauerman, Project Manager
Continental 1
Buffalo, NY


Western New York offers a unique value proposition. Located on the border, we can enable companies to establish one location to penetrate two markets. If a company is interested in reaching half the U.S. and Canadian population in a one-day truck drive, WNY is the ideal location to establish a presence. C-1 will much more efficiently connect WNY to points south, enhancing the competitiveness of the region, New York State and North America.

John Manzella
Manzella Trade Communications, Inc.
Williamsville, NY


Establishing Continental 1 would ensure that the bi-national region maintains its place as a critical link in Canada-US trade flows and would secure access and mobility for businesses engaged in cross-border trade…with close to $645 billion worth of goods annually flowing across the Canada-US border – 30 percent of which crosses in bi-national Buffalo-Niagara.

Kathryn Byrk Friedman, Ph.D., Esq.
Director of Law and Policy Research
University at Buffalo Regional Institute
Buffalo, NY


In Western New York – with the largest trade corridor in New York and second largest in the United States…we do not have an effective north-south route…. If we are to build a sustainable region and one that promotes our long run economic viability, we must get on with the completion of the Route 219/Continental 1 infrastructure that will strengthen our region’s claim on international trade and connections. We can offer a real alternative to areas where infrastructure is at its limits and expansion of capacity is very costly.

Stephen F. Mayer, Ph.D., P.E.
Niagara University, College of Business Administration – Assistant Professor
Technology Commercialization Clinic – Director
Niagara Falls, NY


Completing 219/Continental 1 will benefit existing and potentially new industries…by providing cost effective transportation of raw materials, supplies, parts, and products to customers; reducing transit times, increasing competitiveness, and significantly improving access for companies to airports and terminals in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Toronto.

D. Arthur Hile, Finance Director
Americas and Asia Pacific
Dresser-Rand Co.
Olean, NY


Continental 1 will enhance and expand the economic potential of tourism and entertainment. The economic impact of increased access to and through the region cannot be overstated.
• Buffalo Bills/Sabres – attendees spend $120 per event
• Allegany State Park/Ellicottville ski areas attract estimated 3 million visitors annually
• $2.4 billion spent on tourism in Western New York annually

Dennis Eshbaugh, President and CEO
Holiday Valley Resort
Route 219 Association, President
Ellicottville, NY


St. Bonaventure University is a cultural, educational and economic force in the Western Southern Tier. However, its remote location limits accessibility from safety and convenience considerations, to nearby cultural centers. Expressway access to Buffalo, Pittsburgh and points beyond would enhance the University’s impact on the region economically and generally.

Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., President
St. Bonaventure University
Olean, NY


The completion of Route 219 has been a long battle – more than 40 years, but in the last ten years we’ve made more progress than any time before.

This progress could not come at a better time as there is no more urgent need in our community, in our state, or in our country than growing the economy and more jobs.

I’m very pleased that we have so many stakeholders from our community – business leaders, labor leaders, people from academia, and so on who understand this project is a crucial issue for Western New York, and for our future.

With the additional support from WNY Delegation members and Gov. Cuomo, who I believe very strongly understand how critical this project is to WNY, we are ever closer to achieving the ultimate goal of having this entire route constructed.

The Hon. Catharine Young, New York State Senator
57th Senatorial District


The extensions of the 219 would mean “jobs, jobs and jobs.” Jobs not only for the operating engineers but also the laborers, ironworkers and heavy carpenters. What would it mean to the local communities – simply the economic engine that has been missing in Western New York since the demise of big steel!

Alan Pero, International Supervisor
International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 17
Lake View, NY