Rochester co. to assume Canalside project

September 18, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Rochester co. to assume Canalside project

September 18, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM EDT

Pike Co. has been selected to complete work on a series of replica Erie Canal waterways that will be a central component to Buffalo's Canalside District.

Rochester-based Pike was named by Travelers Surety, the bonding agent for DiPizio Construction, which was removed from the $23 million project earlier this year. Pike was selected from a pool of general contractors that Travelers has in its portfolio.

With Pike on board, work on the stalled project is expected to resume within the week. The canal work could be completed by late spring or early next summer.

"Pike is a solid firm," said Tom Dee, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. president.

No stranger to the Buffalo Niagara region, Pike has worked on a number of local projects including the development of several Wal-Mart and PetSmart stores. The firm has constructed a number of signature buildings on the campuses of the Rochester Institute of Technology and University at Rochester.

Dee said he hopes the canals, which are slightly more than 50 percent completed, will be up and running before the Buffalo Sabres' HarborCenter project makes its debut next September.

The canals were originally slated to open last November. Dee said a spring opening would work in sequence with other major Canalside projects, including this fall's debut of the One Canalside Building and the East Canal urban park in front of the building and next year's HarborCenter opening.

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. on May 8 decided to remove DiPizio from the project, citing a number of factors. DiPizio challenged the action but lost a State Supreme Court decision on July 12 that sought a preliminary injunction blocking its removal.

DiPizio has a series of lawsuits underway, all related to its removal from the canal's project.

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