Read: ROC the Riverway Plan Part 1

Read ROC the Riverway Plan Part 2

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.


  1. Rewatering the Broad St. Aqueduct would cost $35 million. Creating a terrace by the library would cost $8 million.
  2. Renovating the convention center would cost $125 million.
  3. Renovating the Blue Cross Arena would cost $37 million.
  4. Rebuilding Charles Carroll Plaza would cost $25 million.
  5. Creating a “Welcome Connection” on St. Paul St. connecting to High Falls would cost $40 million.
  6. Building a pedestrian bridge between Corn Hill Landing and Erie Harbor would cost $16 million.
  7. Building a bridge over High Falls would cost $28 million.
  8. Turning Beebee Flats into a destination would cost $17 million.
  9. 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

Subtotal $122 


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

Subtotal $178 


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

Subtotal $70


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

Subtotal $130


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>