City holds ‘Aqueduct Reimagined’ public open house and design workshop

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A design lab and open house were held Thursday at the Blue Cross Arena to discuss potentially converting the Broad Street Bridge into an outdoor space.

The Aqueduct Reimagined and Riverfront Promenades project will convert the historic Erie Canal Aqueduct and adjacent riverfront into a central gathering place while improving connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians downtown along the riverfront.

“The input of our residents and stakeholders is critical to moving this project forward,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “This reimagining of the historic Aqueduct is an exciting collaboration that will reshape our Downtown for generations. We are seeking to collect the best ideas and the valuable feedback that our community members can provide us with as we build for a prosperous and equitable future.”

Plans call for the removal of the upper vehicular deck of the Broad Street Bridge, and the creation of a unique, iconic public space on the lower level, where the aqueduct once ran.

At the open house, historic photographs were on display showing what the bridge looked like when it was a canal aqueduct along with design proposals for what the area could look like.

"I can tell you this is on an accelerated schedule and it’s something the mayor is very interested in doing because it will create that iconic public space across from what is going to be a fortune 500 company headquarter," said Richard Perrin, Commissioner of Environmental Services.

The Aqueduct Reimagined project is the keystone of dozens of active ROC the Riverway projects—the largest in scope and cost—and will take more than five years to complete.

Phase one of the project will be removing the street-level deck and is set to begin in the spring of 2023.

For more information on the aqueduct project, click here. For more information on the ROC the Riverway program—which consolidates more than two dozen transformational projects along the Genesee River—click here.