Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and City of Olean Cut Ribbon on $3.5 Million East State Street Project in Cattaraugus County
The City of Olean and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) today cut the ribbon on the first and second phase of the East State Street Reconstruction project in Olean. The project was awarded $1 million as part of Round I of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. This project reconstructed East State Street (NY Route 417) from Front Street to King Street, supporting more than 60 jobs with a total project cost of $3.5 million. Phase three, a city project at the City of Olean’s expense between Front Street and the bridge at Olean Creek, will start on July 8.
“As mayor of the city of Olean, I personally would like to thank Empire State Development and the western regional council for selecting our east state reconstruction project as a recipient of a one million dollar grant towards the $3.5 million dollar total cost,” said City of Olean Mayor Linda L. Witte. “We have completed the project in under a year and have also stayed within budget.”
“Improvements to business districts provide communities with the opportunity to build a foundation for growth and prosperity,” said Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University at Buffalo and Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chair. “The reconstruction of East State Street with funding through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative improves capacity in the City of Olean that will lead to redevelopment in a concentrated area and bring jobs to the neighborhood.”
“The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is making tremendous progress to promote the principles of smart growth with several major initiatives to enhance our region’s economy—and the East State Street Reconstruction is one of those,” said Howard A. Zemsky, Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group and Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chair. “East State Street is home to several of the city’s largest companies, including locally owned Cutco Cutlery, and I am proud to say, with this phase now complete, the road is safer and we have improved access to jobs, services and the downtown corridor.”
The East State Street (NY Route 417) reconstruction consisted of a complete highway and utility remake of this important gateway corridor to downtown Olean. The project included the replacement of water and sanitary sewer lines, a new storm sewer and gutter system, a new road bed, sidewalks and curbs. It addressed severe pavement deterioration, as well as public safety concerns, and provided more infrastructure capacity to support future development and bring jobs to a distressed neighborhood. The construction contract was awarded to and completed by Mark Cerrone, Inc. of Niagara Falls, New York for phase one and Lake Shore Paving Company of Jamestown for phase two.
The project is a part of the East End Corridor Management Strategy, as identified in the City’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan. The reconstruction also supports tourism. Since 1997, East State Street has served as NY Bicycle Route 17, a conduit for statewide touring bicyclists, and a part of a comprehensive network of signed, on-road, long distance bike routes.
A new business, Good Time, a $7 million, 40,000-square-foot recreation facility, recently opened on East State Street, creating more than 200 jobs.
Mayor Witte added, “Today it is appropriate that we cut the ribbon for the completion of this project in front of one of the largest development projects that our city has seen in recent years. In fact, the East state Street project helped the developers to choose this location. As a result of these projects, our city will experience an economic boost of over 200 jobs as well as a new source of revenue for our city and a new source of recreation for the residents of Olean and the surrounding communities.”
“East Olean now has a sense of pride and economic prosperity on the completion of this project. The residents and the businesses have great appreciation that their road, as well as their infrastructure, water and sewer have been completed,” said City of Olean Councilmember Ann McLaughlin.
In 2011, Governor Cuomo redefined the State’s approach to economic development by establishing 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) across the State. The REDC and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process have transformed economic development in New York State, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up regional economic growth. Statewide, the first two rounds included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 projects, which are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs. As part of that process, the East State Street Reconstruction project was awarded $500,000 from the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and an additional $500,000 from Empire State Development (ESD). The partnership between DOT and ESD to support this project leveraged an additional $2.5 million in city funds.
“With phase I of the East State Street Reconstruction now complete, the infrastructure of this heavily traversed gateway corridor is much improved and downtown revitalization is active once again,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “With Governor Cuomo’s leadership through the Regional Council initiative, the corridor’s increased capacity will spur development– bringing new jobs and revenue to the community.”
“Projects such as the reconstruction of East State Street are critical for improving the transportation infrastructure and spurring economic development in neighboring communities,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. “The East State Street project created local jobs and strengthened the infrastructure to support future development and tourism, which will provide long term benefits for the local economy.”
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s efforts to spur economic development and job creation across New York State. For more information on the Regional Councils, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.