Officials see dredging of Utica Harbor as milestone of revitalization

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In two years, you're going to start seeing restaurants, retail shops and possibly a hotel pop up at the Utica Harbor.

Dredging of the harbor started in September and was supposed to continue into the new year. However, the City of Utica and state officials got an early Christmas present on Thursday.

"They did it in record time, folks," said Carmella Mantello, Director of the Canal Corporation. "We had estimated approximately four months to dredge. They did it in less than two months."

"It didn't take a private contract," said Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito. "We put our own public employees to work and they demonstrated that they not only had the professionalism, they had the expertise to get this job done - not only in record time, but quality time."

The Utica Harbor, along North Genesee Street, has not been used in 30 years. Many of you probably recall past Utica mayors talking about the potential the harbor has.

"Over the next couple of years, we are going to see this site transferred to the City of Utica and what we hope is multi-use around this land," Mantello said. "We hope to see the land trail, a promenade, maybe a marina. Some multi-use development, commercial, public recreation and public access points here at the Utica Harbor."

83,000 cubic yards were dredged, and the lock was re-opened. Mayor Roefaro calls this point a milestone.

"This will revitalize Utica," Mayor Roefaro said. "This will make us the renaissance city that we know we can be, and this will put us back on the map. We will be the destination, not only in Oneida County, but upstate New York."

An energy production plant once stood at the site, so National Grid is playing a big role in the clean up process. It's cost was upwards of $100,000,000.

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