Congressman Boehlert Secures $2,219,000 for ESF
SUNY-ESF to lead Context Sensitive Design and Construction Project
Michael R. Brower
Director of Governmental Relations
Jeri Lynn Smith
Director of News and Publications
Syracuse, N.Y - United States Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-New Hartford) today announced that State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) will receive $2.219 million to lead a series of transportation and infrastructure improvements.
The design and construction efforts will improve vehicle and pedestrian connections between the City of Utica Gateway District and the Utica Marsh. As a key component of the project, Water Street will be re-established and CSX track improvements will be designed and made to the bridge connecting Washington Street and Donnelly Street. These improvements will link the Utica Marsh and Harbor Point area with Union Station and the Adirondack Railroad, as well as establish a connection to Bagg's Square to improve and enhance economic development for the area. Additionally, funds will be used to construct a 1.6-mile ecological visitor's trail through the Utica Marsh.
SUNY-ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., said, "Congressman Boehlert's clear vision and legislative leadership tenacity ensured significant funding was included and enacted in this historic transportation reauthorization bill. These funds will enable SUNY-ESF to facilitate a series of specific and vital context sensitive design and construction projects including applications for Utica Marsh and to help re-establish Water Street as a significant "people and environmentally-friendly" transportation connector from Harbor Point and Utica Marsh to Union Station and Baggs's Square."
Murphy continued, "We are exceptionally excited that SUNY-ESF's statewide economic development mission, as a specialized doctoral campus, can lend this kind of assistance to the 24th District and all of Central New York. Drawing on the extensive, nationally recognized and cited landscape architecture and urban design talent and expertise at the College, SUNY-ESF's aim is to help frame Congressman Boehlert's cogent appreciation of Utica Marsh as a New York State ecological treasure and the potential economic vitality of the Utica waterfront while making these resources more accessible and available to Utica's residents, all Central New Yorkers and an influx of eco-tourists and visitors to Utica Marsh."
"Working with my New York colleagues, we formed the FAIR coalition with the hope of protecting the current rate of return of federal highway funds to New York," said Congressman Boehlert, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and TEA-LU conference committee member. "We were pitted against the SHARE coalition, a group led by Majority Leader Delay, which fought against us every step of the way to attain more funding. Some were saying it was a battle of muscle vs. merit and muscle would win, but the results are in, merit won the day and the final formula works to our advantage."
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