ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester broke ground Tuesday on an improvement project to the Aqueduct District in Downtown Rochester.

City officials say the section is being transformed into a pedestrian-friendly area, while maintaining easy access for vehicles. The project includes new sidewalks for several streets, along with more lighting and signage.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans says this renovation is taking something rich with history, and re-imagining it for modern use.

“This year marks the 200th anniversary of the completion of the first aqueduct to carry the Erie Canal over the Genesee River in 1823,” Evans said. “We have a history of turning our back away from the river, but now we’re saying, ‘let’s embrace the river.'”

The Aqueduct project is part of the Roc the Riverway initiative. It’s expected to be done by this Fall.