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Promenade At Erie Harbor Earns Regional And State APWA Project Of The Year

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The City of Rochester has earned a 2020 Project of the Year Award from both the Genesee Valley and the New York State Chapters of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the Promenade at Erie Harbor, a multifaceted project that drove the stunning transformation of a long-vacant riverfront parcel in downtown Rochester. National architecture, engineering and planning firm Bergmann provided planning and design services for this project and regularly partners with the City on its ongoing ROC the Riverway initiative to spur economic growth through celebrating and enhancing Rochester’s riverfront experience.

The APWA Genesee Valley Chapter award, given in the Transportation (less than $5 Million) category, was presented to the City in a hybrid Zoom ceremony April 22. The New York State Chapter award will be presented at a virtual ceremony this spring. These accolades closely follow the project’s recognition this winter with a Platinum award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York’s 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards, and before that a 2020 Bridge Design Award from the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, Western New York Chapter.

The Promenade completes a key missing segment in the City of Rochester’s Genesee Riverway Trail system stretching along the eastern bank of the Genesee River from the Court Street Bridge to the recently opened skatepark. It features a 250-ft-long hardscaped esplanade fronting the river, a landscaped parklette, reconstruction of 350 ft of riverwall separating the river from the historic and still active Johnson & Seymour raceway and a 200-ft pedestrian bridge that wraps around the Dinosaur BBQ restaurant housed in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Station. An innovative public-private partnership delivery mechanism allowed concurrent construction of both the Promenade and “The Nathaniel,” a new mixed-use building, on the small site as well as direct integration of the two projects.

“We’re proud the Promenade fulfills the City’s vision of providing much more than just a missing trail segment,” said Anthony Borrelli, PE, Bridge Practice Leader at Bergmann, who served as project manager for the Promenade. “It delivers a unique experience being woven in with the site’s rich natural, built and historic surroundings — putting the spotlight on what we all love so much about our city and the Genesee. Congratulations to the City of Rochester on this very successful project that will serve the Rochester community for years to come.”

“ROC the Riverway is our ambitious plan to transform our city and drive Rochester’s economy in the 21st century,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “The Promenade at Erie Harbor provides unprecedented access to this part of the river and provides stunning, up close views of the Court Street Dam and Downtown. This project continues our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

“This space has been neglected for many, many decades, but it has been utterly transformed through ROC the Riverway,” said City of Rochester Engineer Holly Barrett, PE, during the awards ceremony. “The new bridge and trail extensions, the cantilevered overlooks, they’re turning our face toward the Genesee River — a natural asset that the City has overlooked for decades. It has been such an exciting project. The early visions don’t even do justice on what we have before us now, and the way that it ties in with all of our other ROC the Riverway projects has just been incredible.”

According to the APWA, the Project of the Year Award in the Transportation category was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity, and efficiency in the delivery of Public Works projects that have a profound impact on the community. The award recognizes the alliance between the managing agency, the engineer and contractors who together have led to a successful completion of a public works project.


For more than four decades, Bergmann architects, engineers and planners have been delivering results to clients across the United States and Canada. This team of more than 450 professionals spans the Northeast, Midwest and Atlantic regions. Bergmann develops connections with partners and communities to create dynamic, creative solutions that will stand the test of time, while promoting environmental and functional sustainability. Projects in the Bergmann portfolio range from signature buildings and commercial developments to critical transportation infrastructure and community planning. For more information, visit