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Demolition Begins at Former Roth Steel Site to Make Way for Trail and Future Development

Elizabeth Kauma

Demolition began Wednesday on the former Roth Steel property, as Onondaga County officials celebrate the end of the three-year process to acquiring it. The Industrial Development Agency has already spent $2.3 million cleaning up the facility, to transform it into a critical portion of the Loop-the-Lake trail and other use consistent with plans for the area.

County Legislator Ryan McMahon says the alternative would be repeating the mistakes of yesterday.

“You know success has many authors, and this would have been a disaster is there was a pick and pull on our shore line. I am sure that all of you have flown into our community from traveling abroad, and you fly right over the lake and see everything around the lake. To have cars piled up here would have been a disaster and it took a lot of courage and a lot of hard work from a lot of people together and I think we’re getting a good result.”

Onondaga County has plans for a brighter future for the industrial scrapyard.
IDA Chair Pat Hogan says the property will be good for the city in both the long and short run.

What’s going to happen in the future here is that we’re going to develop this land and it’s going to be part of the Loop-the-Lake trail and it’s going to add and enhance this neighborhood.”   

Credit Elizabeth Kauma / WAER News

Environmental challenges still exist. Officials say they’ve already removed 25,000 pounds of residue from industrial metal shredders. But County Environmental Director Travis Glazier says existing PCB’s or other pollution shouldn’t hamper trail progress.

“The area where the trail way is going to go did not require a lot of remediation, if any. So the trail itself will act as a cap even though the area, the levels, wouldn’t justify major remedial work.”

Environmental concerns will lengthen the process for private developers that might have ideas for future uses of the site.  Officials say Brownfield Grants would likely be available to help.  IDA officials are marketing the property – and say they have already had interest. 

Credit Elizabeth Kauma / WAER News