From 1971 to 1985, legal and political battles raged over Westway, the controversial multibillion-dollar highway, development, and park project conceived for the Hudson River edge on Manhattan’s Lower West Side. The most expensive highway project ever proposed, Westway provoked one of the highest stakes legal battles of its day. Drawing on archival records and interviews, legal scholar William W. Buzbee probes beneath the veneer of government actions and court rulings to illuminate the political pressures and strategic moves that shaped the Westway wars. Involving all branches of government, environmental laws, scientific conflict, strategic citizen action, trials and court cases, the history of Westway illuminates how urban priorities are contested and how separation of powers and federalism frameworks structure legal and political conflict.
William W. Buzbee is currently Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and will be joining the law faculty at Georgetown University Law Center in the fall of 2014. He is co-author of Environmental Protection: Law and Policy and editor of Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism’s Core Question. He has published in many leading law reviews.