Stutson Street Improvements

Project Description/Background

The City of Rochester is currently under design for the rehabilitation of Stutson Street from Lake Avenue to River Street.  This project is currently out to bid.  The street project will include milling and resurfacing of the pavement; new concrete sidewalk, driveway aprons, retaining wall repair, new water main and services and a new street lights.

As part of the Stutson Street bridge construction in 1915 the street elevation on the east end was lowered  to reach a desired elevation of the west landing of the bridge.  This roadway work included the installation of retaining walls along the back edge of sidewalk along certain properties.  These retaining walls are located within the ROW and are owned by the City of Rochester.  Portions of the wall along the southern side of the street are failing and are being tilted out of plumb.

Prior to the City’s starting the design the Sector 1 Neighbors Building Neighborhoods and the Harbor Merchants Association had wanted Stutson Street to have some of its’ historic features restored.  This was evident at the first public information meeting held in 2005 to review the preliminary design of the street plans.  Many people spoke in favor of uncovering and reusing the brick cubes in the street and for installing decorative lighting. 
It was explained that the funds targeted for the street project are to be used to make the infrastructure functional to the general public in the most efficient and cost effective way.  If a neighborhood wishes for enhancements to be installed as part of the project, they must find a source of funds outside of the project funding to pay for them.  The usual method is to set up a special enhancement district in which each property owner pays for the costs of the enhancements proportional to their property frontage, with payments spread out over a number of years.  However, the cost to recover, clean, and reset the brick cubes is expensive enough to make an enhancement district impractical.

The neighborhood contacted Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s office and she agreed to submit the costs of the enhancements for possible Federal funding as a transportation project.  The enhancements included in the request consisted of restoring a brick cube surface to Stutson Street and installing a decorative street lighting system on Stutson Street and on other nearby streets as a project.

The award of a Federal grant for enhancements is a competitive process, with our request vying with other transportation, housing and veteran projects from across the Country.  Additionally, since submitting the application the need to reconstruct New Orleans and other areas hit by the hurricanes restricted the money available for grants and further eroded the chances of Stutson Street getting federal funding.

Senator Joseph Robach’s office was subsequently contacted by the neighborhood seeking state funding.  Early in 2008 an application for the Rochester Historic River Harbor Transportation Improvement project was submitted to Sen. Robach’s office.  The Dorm Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) applied for funding but were denied in December, 2008 by the Governor’s office due to financial restraints.
In January, 2011, the City submitted a grant application for the Rochester Historic River Harbor Transportation Improvement project seeking a grant from the New York Economic Development Program (NYEDP) for Infrastructure Enhancements, Landscaping and Street Lighting improvements.

In September, 2011, this grant application was resubmitted by DASNY to the state legislature for their approval.  After being approved by the State Senate, Budget and Assembly the grant agreement was finally sent to the City of Rochester in March, 2012.  City Council authorized participation in this grant agreement and appropriated funding on March 27, 2012.

The Rochester Historic River Harbor Transportation Improvement Project component of the project consists of the following:

Sidewalks - The original Stutson Street was paved with 2 1/4" brick cubes. These brick cubes still exist on portions of the street under the asphalt road surface. In order to reflect the original construction of Stutson Street, brick cubes will be recovered when excavating the water main trench to be done as part of the Stutson Street Improvement Project.  These cubes will be used as brick highlights inset into sidewalk flags n a double row across the Stutson Street sidewalk about every 25 feet as shown in the below detail. 


Each highlight strip will consist of a double row of the brick cubes.

Street Lighting - Enhanced street lighting consisting of Ancestra fixtures will be installed on the existing RG&E wood pole distribution system.  This work is complete.  The streets that received the enhanced lighting are:

  •  Stutson Street (Lake Ave. - River St.)
  •  River Street (Stutson St. - St. John's Pk.)
  •  Ellis Place
  •  Lakeport Street
  •  Petten Street


Construction Schedule

• Street lighting improvements - substantially complete, summer 2013;
• Advertise construction contract for bids – late summer 2013, (Bid Results);
• Award construction contract – fall 2013;
• Begin watermain and retaining wall work – fall 2013;
• Winter shutdown;
• Restart construction - spring 2014;
• Substantial completion – late spring/early summer 2014;




Public Meetings 


If you have questions or just need more information, contact City project manager, Mr. Rich Koss, at (585) 428-6862, or email him.