Barlow Announces Completion of Complete Streets and Water Street Square Projects

The Port City celebrates opening of Water Street Square (city of Oswego photo)
The Port City celebrates opening of Water Street Square (city of Oswego photo)

OSWEGO – City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced the completion of the State Route 104 “Complete Streets” project, along with the completion and opening of the new “Water Street Square” pocket park, two of Oswego’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization projects.

In 2016, Oswego was selected as a winner in the first round of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, with 11 of the 12 funded projects currently under construction or completed.

The $1.5 million Complete Streets project introduces traffic calming techniques, improves pedestrian safety at major intersections, visually enhances Oswego’s downtown corridor, and includes a new staircase connecting downtown to the West Linear Riverwalk.

Before and after

The project was one of six projects included in the city’s initial application to New York State, and is designed to better connect the North and South sides of West Bridge Street, overcoming the barrier created by State Route 104’s division of downtown.

The project is receiving $1 million from the DRI and an additional $500,000 through a Federal transportation grant the city received in 2016.

The Water Street Square pocket park is a $900,000 project, receiving $680,000 of DRI funding.

Water Street Square is a small park constructed between Water Street and West First Street downtown, to be used as a public gathering space for events and outdoor programming opportunities.

The project includes a stage, benches, tables, chairs, landscaping and an ADA accessible switchback ramp to the West Linear Riverwalk, as well as improvements to Water Street.

“The State Route 104 Complete Streets project and the Water Street Square pocket park are transformative projects for downtown Oswego. Both projects not only visually enhance our core downtown, but provide pedestrians the opportunity to safely walk downtown by connecting the north and south sides of State Route 104 to our Riverwalk,” said Mayor Barlow. “The new projects will draw more people to our downtown, creating opportunities for additional development, as well as promoting our local small businesses. These projects will complement other economic development projects currently under way, making our community more welcoming, attractive, and by encouraging people to visit and spend more time downtown.”

“Our downtown has so much to offer both residents and visitors alike,” said Third Ward Councilor Kevin Hill, who represents a significant portion of downtown Oswego.

“Completion of the State Route 104 Complete Streets and Water Street Square projects are significant and transformative milestones for our community. The Complete Streets project provides a more visually appealing ‘window’ to our downtown, while providing a safer pedestrian connection to our waterfront. The Water Street Square pocket park is an innovative use of previously underutilized public space that will attract people to our downtown, increase traffic to our small businesses and provide a beautiful space for gatherings and events,” Hill added.

Justin Rudgick, director of Economic Development, said, “The Water Street Square and the Complete Streets 104 project were both critical components to Mayor Barlow’s plan to revitalize downtown Oswego. Both projects make our downtown a better place to spend time and support our local businesses. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts these projects have in the future.”

Construction for both the State Route 104 Complete Streets and Water Street Square projects began in April 2019 and was performed by Hannibal-based W.D. Malone. Barton and Loguidice designed the 104 Complete Streets project and Delta Engineers designed the Water Street Square project.

The city hosted a free concert featuring “Three of a Kind” Tuesday evening to celebrate the grand opening of Water Street Square.

The city is currently booking future entertainment for the pocket park and organizations can reserve the space for outdoor programming through the Oswego Department of Public Works.