Restoration of Rochester’s last exposed-brick street is set to take nearly two months.
Work is starting this week on the $430,000 project on Ninth Avenue Southwest between Sixth and Seventh streets.
The block is expected to be closed through Nov. 9, and access to some surrounding streets will be limited to local traffic during construction, according to Rochester Public Works.
The reconstruction using the existing brick pavers follows several months of discussions with six neighbors on the block, who agreed to be assessed for nearly $52,000 each.
“We were hoping it would have been closer to $30,000 or $40,000 after looking at similar projects in other cities,” said Jan Daly, one of the Ninth Avenue neighbors.
Daly said an online Go Fund Me fundraising campaign is being considered to help offset the neighbors’ expense, since many community members have voiced a desire to help retain the brick street.
“I think the whole neighborhood is excited, and many in this community are grateful,” she said, noting a petition to restore the street gathered 400 signatures.
While a final decision on a fundraising effort hasn’t been made, Daly said any effort would likely send money directly to a city account in an effort to reduce property owners’ assessments.
When reconstructing the street was first discussed, Public Works staff provided two primary options: Repave the street at a cost of approximately $246,000 or restore the bricks, with neighboring properties being assessed for any additional costs.
Early estimates indicated the neighbors would face bills ranging from an average of $75,000 to $81,000 for the work.
In July, the Rochester City Council approved a revised plan to restore the brick street while reducing the project’s overall cost.
Public Works Director Chris Petree said the compromise was achieved to maintain the historic asset without significantly adding to the city’s overall expense.