Saw Mill River 'daylighting' work in Yonkers gets $8M

NEWS 12 WESTCHESTER: The new daylighted section of the Saw Mill River will be in downtown Yonkers. (August 21, 2012)

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More of downtown Yonkers' long-buried Saw Mill River Parkway will be out in the light of day, thanks to $8 million in state funding.

Last week, the board of the Empire State Development Corporation approved money for the New Main Street Development Corporation -- a nonprofit agency acting on behalf of Yonkers -- to buy six properties above the river on New Main Street in the city's downtown, the ESDC said in a recent news release.

Once the parcels are acquired, these properties and some others already owned by Yonkers will be cleared and redeveloped as walking space at River Park Center, News12 reported Tuesday.

A portion of the 20-mile-long Saw Mill River has flowed through an underground flume in downtown Yonkers since the 1920s, when the Army Corps of Engineers covered it in order to manage sanitation and flooding. As part of an economic redevelopment and open space initiative, Yonkers is "daylighting" a half-mile of the river. The first phase, begun in December 2010 and finished last December, opened up an 800-foot section of the river at Larkin Plaza.

The cost of the daylighting work will be $1,147,786 and the project will retain 24 jobs and create 23 new ones, the ESDC said in the release.

The Empire State Development Corporation is a quasi-private state entity empowered to aid economic development projects through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of assistance.

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