By Joseph Spector
Albany Bureau Chief
ALBANY -- Construction is continuing on a $100 million project to rehab Interstate 390 in Rochester, a critical artery that connects to the University of Rochester and other major institutions in the city.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to announce Wednesday that two components of the project, totaling $23 million, are moving forward at exit 16 on I-390. The project was first announced in January 2012 after years of uncertainty over state and federal funding. The project, Cuomo said, is the first major design-build contract in Western New York, in which all the contractors work together to speed up construction.
"By providing the Rochester area with new more efficient access to I-390, we will help the region to build on its reputation as one of the nation's premier learning and professional development centers, while creating new jobs," Cuomo said in a statement obtained by Gannett's Albany Bureau. "This project is the first major design-build contract in western New York and represents a smart infrastructure investment that will pay off by strengthening the region's economy."
Cuomo estimated that the work will create 100 jobs. Some construction started last fall, and phase one of the project resumed last month, totaling $8.2 million. That work includes rebuilding the existing ramp southbound to East River Road and a roundabout at Kendrick and East River roads.
Construction is scheduled to start June 10 on the $14 million phase two of the project, which includes a new ramp from Kendrick Road to I-390 north and widening the Kendrick Road bridge over I-390.
The project is seen as a way to improve access to the expanding University of Rochester campus in the city. The college and its medical center are the city's largest employer. Also nearby are Monroe Community College and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
"The I-390/Kendrick Road Interchange project removes a significant impediment in the current transportation network and is transformational to the region's economic future," University of Rochester President Joel Seligman said in the statement from the governor's office. "It not only will enable the University of Rochester to expand our research, clinical care, and education programs, but it will also improve the quality of life of the surrounding community."