Transformative “ROC the Riverway” Initiative

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“Significant investments in Rochester are helping to build the city, and projects as part of ‘ROC the Riverway’ will propel that transformation to new levels,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “New York is proud to partner with communities like Rochester and implement plans for revitalization to benefit residents and grow the economy. Enhancing the area along the river in downtown will create new opportunities and further advance the Finger Lakes Forward strategy to revive the area.”


The ROC the Riverwary Vision Plan organizes the targeted area into three sections of riverfront with specific goals including: 



  • Trail connectivity at consistent elevation throughout downtown, connecting the former Aqueduct terrace with the Blue Cross Arena; and renovation of Charles Carroll Plaza

The South River:

  • Increasing boating activity
  • Re-naturalization of the river’s edge
  • River oriented development

High Falls Area:

  • Recreation, adventure, green energy
  • Re-stabilization of Pont de Rennes

Projects Recommended for the $50 Million State Commitment:


Aqueduct Re-Imagined ($4.5 million) – This project will create a commitment to remove the Broad Street bridge top, with funding dedicated to complete final design, including of new riverway segments on both sides of the Aqueduct from Court Street to Main Street.


Rundel Library North Terrace ($1.5 million) – The North Terrace has been closed due to structural issues and has created a public safety issue. Funding will make necessary repairs to reopen the North Terrace for outdoor library rooms, café spaces and programming opportunities.


Blue Cross Arena ($6 million) – This funding will create an exterior river terrace, opening up views to the river from within the arena, along with other major renovations to the arena’s dated infrastructure. Today marks the first day that the arena is under the management of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which recently entered into a temporary agreement with the City of Rochester to operate the venue.


Convention Center ($5 million) – Funding will continue needed renovations to attract more competitive convention and other business, by building upon past renovations to the escalator system and river terrace with a renewed focus on connecting the facility to the riverfront.


Riverway Main to Andrews ($20 million) – Funding will renovate Charles Carroll Park, Crossroads Garage, Crossroads Park and the Sister Cities Pedestrian Bridge, significantly enhancing connectivity for non-motorized modes of transportation on both sides of the river from Main Street to Andrews Street.


Front Street Promenade ($1.25 million) – Funding will be used to build a promenade along the river from Andrews Street to the Inner Loop. This, combined with a proposed mixed use development on Front Street, will build upon existing and future investments in the area.


ROC City Skate Park ($1 million) – A new public skate park will be built under the I-490 Douglass-Anthony Bridge with direct access to the Riverway Trail and adjoining the Downtown and South Wedge neighborhoods. The City of Rochester also just received word that it has been awarded a “Built to Play” Grant for $250,000  for the project from the Tony Hawk Foundation.


Genesee Gateway Park ($2 million) – Funding will improve the existing Genesee Riverway Trail by expanding park river access to the South Wedge neighborhood, building upon existing development projects along Mt. Hope Avenue and the South Wedge.


Corn Hill Navigation ($250,000) – Corn Hill Navigation operates tour boats on sections of the Erie Canal. Funds will provide additional resources for a new boat to generate activity in the South River area.


High Falls Terrace Park / Brewery Line Trail ($1 million) – One of the City’s oldest parks, High Falls Terrace Park has not been used to its maximum capacity. Funds will create a new trail, the Brewery Trail Line, which will be located along the park and near the Genesee Brewery, connecting and further serving the area. Funds will also be used to upgrade the existing park and trails, creating access to and views of High Falls.


Pont de Rennes Bridge ($4 million) – Funding will make needed structural repairs to the existing bridge, funding design and construction of improvements to the bridge.


Running Track Bridge ($500,000) – The Running Track Bridge is a former rail bridge that is currently abandoned. Funding will modernize the bridge for future phases to link pedestrian access between neighborhoods including El Camino, Edgerton and High Falls.


Downtown/Riverfront Management Entity ($3 million) – The panel is also recommending the creation of a management entity, which is critical for the long-term success, sustainability and programming. Funding would be used to study what kind of management entity would work best for Rochester, with primary responsibilities to include:


  • Programming
  • Maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Public art, amenities
  • Infrastructure
  • Development for the initiative