Ground was broken Tuesday on the next ROC the Riverway project.
Mayor Lovely Warren was joined by state and local partners to break ground on improvements to the west wall of the Genesee River between Corn Hill Landing and Ford Street.
“The start of the West River Wall projects represents a major step forward in our effort to fulfill the community-building, job-creating potential of Genesee River through our ROC the Riverway program,” Warren said. “What is now an eyesore that blocks public access and views, this area will be transformed into a vibrant, welcoming, public space along our beautiful riverfront.”
The West River Wall Improvements Phase 1 project is part of the ROC the Riverway Initiative, a series of 30 projects that will create a connection of destinations along both banks of the Genesee River downtown.
“The excitement around this project is palpable,” said City Council President Loretta Scott. “The Corn Hill Neighborhood has advocated for the West River Wall project for a long time and today the city, together with New York state and other community partners, will make this project a reality. This project, along with the multitude of other ROC the Riverway initiatives will transform our river into a vibrant and celebrated part of our city.”
This phase of the improvement project will reconstruct the west side of the Genesee River from Corn Hill Landing to Ford Street. The renovated river wall will maintain necessary flood protection while naturalizing much of the shoreline. A new public landing opposite Fitzhugh Place will better connect the Corn Hill neighborhood to the river, including a raised intersection along Exchange Boulevard to calm traffic and create a more pedestrian-friendly space.
Future project phases will similarly reconstruct the river wall further south to Brooks Landing.
“I want to congratulate Mayor Warren and her administration for launching this critical project today, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to upstate communities across New York through the Reimagine the Canals effort,” said New York State Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton. “ROC the Riverway naturally complements Gov. Cuomo’s statewide vision by prioritizing investment in resilience and economic development. Upgrading the infrastructure of the West River Wall not only addresses flooding and drought but also makes this a more attractive place for both local recreation and tourism.”
Phase 1 of the West River Wall Improvement project is $7.6 million, with $4.2 million in funding coming from the state Canal Corp. Some $750,000 was secured through the state Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
The West River Wall Improvement project is one of several ROC the Riverway projects now underway including the ROC City Skate Park, the Rundel Library North Terrace, renovations at the Rochester War Memorial at the Blue Cross Arena and Charles Carroll Plaza renovations. The renovation of the north terrace of the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center was completed last year.