Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Rochester to announce $50 million for our ROC the Riverway initiative. This is a series of infrastructure projects designed to enhance, preserve and beautify the riverfront in an effort to revitalize downtown.
We obtained a document dated December 1, 2017 that pitches the project to the state. The document lists $500 million over several phases lasting 10 years.
- Rewatering the Broad St. Aqueduct would cost $35 million. Creating a terrace by the library would cost $8 million.
- Renovating the convention center would cost $125 million.
- Renovating the Blue Cross Arena would cost $37 million.
- Rebuilding Charles Carroll Plaza would cost $25 million.
- Creating a “Welcome Connection” on St. Paul St. connecting to High Falls would cost $40 million.
- Building a pedestrian bridge between Corn Hill Landing and Erie Harbor would cost $16 million.
- Building a bridge over High Falls would cost $28 million.
- Turning Beebee Flats into a destination would cost $17 million.
- Creating an extreme sports destination at High Falls would cost $30 million.
As you can see $50 million won’t go very far. The governor funded 10 percent of what the city wants. While $50 million is a lot of money, it equals how much more Rochester gives its schools every year than Buffalo. Rochester also gets $200 less per capita than Buffalo. Fifty million dollars doesn’t even begin to make us whole.
Furthermore, that $50 million covers less than half of the city’s first phase of projects.
The good news is the city is developing a comprehensive plan to address some of its pressing infrastructure needs, such as the arena and convention center. Creating an advisory board indicates a willingness to accept public opinion and be transparent.
Some of these projects are exciting. Funding may come incrementally. But for now, we should temper our enthusiasm, because there’s a long, long way to go.
This is what the city envisions for all phases:
PHASE I (0-3 years)
Downtown/Riverfront Mang. Entity $10 million
Charles Carroll Plaza $25 million
Aqueduct Re-imagined $35 million
Riverway Broad to Main $10 million
Library North Terrace $8 million
Main Street Resurgence $9 million
Preserving Pont de Rennes $9 million
Riverfront Reborn $10 million
Genesee Gateway $3 million
Mill Street Connection $3 million
PHASE II (3-5 years)
ROC Convention Expansion $125 million
Recharging the Trail $5 million
Bridge the Genesee $16 million
Bridge the Loop $16 million
Running Track Bridge $5 million
Water Landings $3 million
Link to the River $8 million
PHASE III (5-10 years)
Arena on the River $37 million
Riverway Main to Andrews $5 million
Restore the Shore $15 million
Childs Basin $5 million
Riverside Development $8 million
PHASE IV (10+ years)
Connect the Gorge $7 million
Bee Bee Flats $17 million
Welcome Connection $40 million
Over the Falls Bridge $28 million
Tree Top Trail $8 million
High Falls Adventure $30 million
TOTAL FOR ALL PROJECTS $500