Boilermaker Blog

And I Was There


There are times we get the opportunity to experience history. Sometimes planned, like watching Neil Armstrong taking that first tentative step on the surface of the Moon.
Often unplanned, like watching the second jet slamming into the World Trade Center and realizing something very, very bad was happening.
On Thursday I saw the beginning of a major change take place in our community with Governor Cuomo making the formal announcement of Nano-Marcy prominently involving GE.
The return of GE to the Utica region, I remember the days that the GE facility pumped out millions of transistor radios out of the Bleeker Street facility: I had one (yeah I’m that old). Meanwhile, at a million square foot building on Broad Street, thousands of GE workers were doing radar research; planes would frequently be seen lazily flying back and forth near the building doing some hush-hush military project.
I attended the opening session at the Radisson where, besides the politicians, every New York State Commissioner was sitting around the very large table. This was serious stuff!
I didn’t have a chance to be at the announcement at Quad-C as I was at the formal opening of the pedestrian bridge spanning the arterial. In attendance was the New York State Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. The arterial project is one I have watched with interest with its opportunity to create a more user-friendly waling/running/ bike path system. We need a unified path system throughout the region that insures the safety of folks engaging in healthy exercise activity, but I digress.
After the bridge ribbon cutting we walked down to the brewery where the next stage of the Department of Transportation infrastructure improvement was revealed with a possible multi-lane roundabout at the Genesee Street and Route 5/Oriskany Street, currently the most accident-prone intersection in the county.
And there was more as state officials visited various locations throughout the region both listening and committing assets to serve the needs of the community.
For too long (pre-Utica Comets) I would hear that the Boilermaker Week was the only time Utica felt good about itself. I would respond “well we have only have 51 to go”.
Will there be hurdles and perhaps short-term glitches as this massive project takes form and substance, of course there will. Imagine building a house and multiplying the issues by a million (or should it be a billion?).
Saying that, I think Thursday August 20, 2015 just might have helped take care of those other 51 weeks.
And I was there to witness it.

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