ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans joined state and local leaders Tuesday morning to break ground on Phase II of the Erie Harbor Enhancement project.

It’s part of the ROC the Riverway transformation program and aims to improve Genesee Gateway Park — located at 171 Mount Hope Avenue in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood. Plans for the park include:

  • Upgrades to deteriorating park features
  • Restoration of paths; enhanced landscaping
  • New picnic tables, benches, and grills
  • A new playground and refurbished basketball court
  • Park entrance signage
  • Bike racks and bike repair stations
  • Drop-off loop and parking that provides access to a hand-carried boat launch for canoe and kayak

The total cost of the project is $6.8 million and is expected to be completed by next summer.

“This is another example of the City’s commitment to transforming and rejuvenating one of its greatest natural assets – the Genesee River – and to strengthening and connecting neighborhoods,” said Mayor Evans. “I am grateful for the continued support of our ROC the Riverway initiative from Governor Kathy Hochul, the Secretary of the Department of State, and Empire State Development. Rochester’s partnership with the State of New York continues to bring exciting things to our city.”

Mayor Evans noted this project is among other ongoing Roc the Riverway projects, including the initial development of a new High Falls State Park, and the expansion of Rochester’s downtown skate park, which is already underway with mural artists laying out new designs.

ROC the Riverway Phase One, which began in 2018, included 13 projects. Other Phase Two focuses include:

  • High Falls State Park: The state budget included $6 million in initial funding to get the ball rolling on a new state park in downtown Rochester. The governor said the project will protect the gorge while also giving the public access for the first time in centuries. The new park will have a phased opening over the next five years following renovations of different parcels of land there. For more information on this project, click here.
  • Rochester Riverside Hotel & Convention Center Expansion: According to the governor, this project will include the reopening of the former Riverside Hotel on Main Street as a renovated mixed-use facility that will include updated meeting space to be operated by, and attached to, the adjacent Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
  • High Falls Visitor Center: The governor said $2.5 million in state funding to help the City of Rochester retain ownership of the historic Rochester Water Works building at High Falls and renovate it as an improved public visitor center that could ultimately allow elevator access to the river gorge level and benefit the aforementioned High Falls State Park.
  • Aqueduct Reimagined: The governor said this is the largest ROC the Riverway project, which envisions a central gathering space for the entire community. Funding includes the originally announced $4.5 million committed in Phase One, plus an additional $5 million for Phase Two. The governor said this will develop in tandem with the construction of the new Constellation Brands headquarters, which announced a relocation to downtown back in September 2021.
  • Rochester Downtown Partnership: The governor previously announced this new public-private entity (RDP) as a management group for public waterfront spaces. State officials say the RDP was recommended by the community advisory board that helped the ROC the Riverway Vision Plan. The governor said the RDP, in partnership with City Council, property owners, residents and stakeholders, will help create a new “business improvement district” for Downtown Rochester.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.