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Construction work along portions of Connective Corridor set to begin this fall

May 16, 2010

Jemeli Tanui
(315) 443-5172

Syracuse University, Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse have announced a plan for elements of the Connective Corridor Project’s first phase of construction, which will include the Connective Corridor Façade Improvement Program; the redesign of Forman Park; streetscape improvements and the conversion of University Avenue to a two-way street; and streetscape improvements on East Genesee Street, from University Avenue to Forman Avenue.

The Syracuse Common Council will review legislation pertaining to these improvements on May 19 and vote on legislation May 24.

“We have had outstanding teamwork with the city and the county on this project in recent months. We are all very glad that we are reaching the home stretch on the design phase of the Corridor and looking forward to construction,” says Marilyn Higgins, SU vice president for community engagement and economic development. “This summer, the public will have the opportunity to see the first physical evidence of the Corridor–in Forman Park, in front of The Warehouse and on the facades of buildings along the route.”

“One of the primary goals of the Connective Corridor project is to activate public spaces, and that is exactly what will be happening with the redesign of Forman Park and areas around Syracuse University’s Warehouse in Downtown Syracuse,” says Steve Kearney, Syracuse deputy director of planning and sustainability. “In addition, the façade program allows businesses, not-for-profits and property owners to both improve their buildings and assist with developing the identity of the Corridor. It’s this multi-faceted approach that makes this such a unique and exciting urban planning project.”

The elements of the project include:

Connective Corridor Façade Improvement Program

The Connective Corridor Façade Improvement Program is a reimbursable grant program that will be made available to properties along the entire Connective Corridor route. As many as 25 grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for physical improvements to exterior buildings, or street-side landscaping. The program will begin this summer. Applications will be available through the Connective Corridor website beginning Aug. 1. Connective Corridor staff will also be visiting businesses with packets to explain the program. This project is expected to cost about $625,000 and is funded by New York State through SU.

University Avenue
University Avenue will be converted back to a two-way street from Erie Boulevard to Waverly Avenue. This conversion will occur in spring 2011.

Additionally, the University Avenue component of the Connective Corridor is now being included in the first stage of construction. This project is expected to cost about $4.4 million and is funded by New York State through SU. The estimated cost does not include design work.

East Genesee Street, from University Avenue to Forman Avenue
Streetscape improvements along East Genesee Street will include new sidewalks, street paving, trees, planters, a bike lane, pedestrian-level lighting and enhanced pedestrian crosswalks. Construction for these improvements will begin in spring 2011. This portion of the Corridor construction will cost about $4.2 million–with $3.3 million from federal transportation funds and $900,000 from New York State through SU. The estimated cost does not include design work.

Forman Park Redesign
OLIN, a design firm from Philadelphia that designed Bryant Park in New York City, has been working with Barton & Loguidice to develop a new design for Forman Park.

“At its heart this project is focused on enhancing Syracuse’s public realm, providing many more opportunities for citizens, businesses, institutions and visitors to use this wonderful and often underappreciated resource,” says Richard Newton, partner at OLIN.

Partial construction of this project will begin in September. Construction will be completed in spring 2011. The total redesign of the park will cost about $1.5 million. Funding sources are: $875,000 from New York State through SU; $385,000 from the City of Syracuse; $190,000 from the U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development; and $50,000 from Onondaga County’s Green Infrastructure funds. The estimated cost does not include design work.

“Onondaga County is always looking for partnership opportunities such as the Connective Corridor to encourage the use of green infrastructure,” says Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “This project is a great example of how diverse groups with different projects can work together to achieve everyone’s goals and improve the community.”

Warehouse Corridor Node

A bike bodega and elements of a streetscape will be constructed near Syracuse University’s Warehouse building downtown on the corner of Fayette and West streets at the western end of the Connective Corridor. The work aims at building a connection between the Corridor and the Near Westside neighborhood. Construction is set to begin in the fall and continue in spring 2011. This project is expected to cost about $500,000 and is funded by New York State through SU. The estimated cost does not include design work.

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