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Changes coming to city neighborhood

Rochester, N.Y. -- Five years after the design was first drawn up, plans to replace a rocky stretch of North Winton Road, from Blossom Road to Corwin Road, are finally moving forward.

Rochester has been waiting on federal funding since 2009, but that money was drained by other projects that went over budget. Reconstruction of North Winton was pushed back until at least 2018, but has been in such bad shape the city couldn't wait that long.

The road torn up by potholes and with maintenance costs adding up, city officials decided to take a different route to replace it. Instead of using state and federal money, the city is partnering with Monroe County to fund the $3.5 million project.

The county will cover the bulk of that cost, paying for all the roadwork, while the city will pay for new sidewalks, streetlights, curbs, fire hydrants and a water main.

"It's very nice to see North Winton is going to get some attention," Matt Simonis said at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday. "People who drive it every day can certainly take a look at it and see it needs some help."

From Balsam Street to Corwin Road, the plan is to add mix-use lanes and diversify transportation options, swapping street parking on one side for bike lanes on the other.

City engineers said the width of the road won't change.

"I think it really takes into account the shared roadway, so I'm hopeful this will move forward and get into the construction phase to really benefit the whole neighborhood," Simonis said.

City engineers said the wider sidewalks and bike lanes will bring more people to the area.

North Winton Road resident John Schull said the proposed plan will help local businesses and revitalize that whole area. 

"If they are just driving in and driving out, you get lots of traffic and occasional purchases but no real life to animate the community," Schull said. "People will spend more time there. If they spend more time there, they interact with each other, they develop an attachment to the neighborhood and patronize the merchants."

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2015, expected to be completed by late fall. For at least part of the time, city engineers said North Winton Road will be reduced to one lane, but they're still trying to figure out the details of a detour because of its proximity to State Route 590.

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