News Release - Mayor Warren, Community Partners Break Ground on West River Wall Improvements

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren was joined by state and community partners today 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 project 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,” Mayor 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. Thanks to the vision of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and our partners at the New York State Canal Corporation and Department of State, we are moving forward with our plans to transform the Genesee River and create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

“The excitement around this project is palpable, 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,” said City Council President Loretta C. Scott, “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.”

“I want to congratulate Mayor Warren and her administration for launching this critical project today, and Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to upstate communities across New York through the Reimagine the Canals effort,” said NYS Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “Roc the Riverway’ naturally complements Governor 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.”

New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said: “New York State is committed to helping our cities revitalize their waterfronts, and the improvements being made along the West River Wall are a momentous step towards reestablishing Rochester’s connection to the Genesee River. This project will not only create more public accessibility to the river, it will also improve resiliency against flooding and create a natural shoreline. The Department of State is proud to work with the City of Rochester to play a key role in the ROC the Riverway initiative and contribute project design funding through the Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.”

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 seamless connection of destinations along both banks of the Genesee River.

This phase of the West River Wall Improvements 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.

The West River Wall Improvements Phase 1 project is a $7.6 million project, receiving $4.2 million through the New York State Canal Corporation. Another $750,000 in support was secured through the New York State Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

The West River Wall Improvement project joins several other ROC the Riverway projects now in the construction phase, 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.


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