Community Development

Gateway Project Surges Ahead

One of the recommendations of the City of Cortland’s newly adopted Comprehensive Plan is to make improvements to the Exit 11 entrance into the City, including the Clinton Avenue corridor. This gateway area abuts Interstate 81 and is the preferred route for visitors to downtown Cortland, SUNY Cortland, and the East End Neighborhood. This “front door” to the City is a patchwork of commercial architecture, excessive signage, pedestrian unfriendly amenities, sparse tree scapes, and, until recently, commercial vacancies. The Tioughnioga River flows through the project area, and is a untapped asset.

Using a competitive procurement process, the City hired C & S Engineers of Syracuse to undertake a public design process which has allowed City residents to comment on design options for this area in the future. Thoma is the designated liaison for the City. There is also a 12-member local steering committee that is overseeing the consultant’s work. Once the conceptual plans are completed, this will position Cortland for future grant opportunities, in addition to providing the City a guide for design elements that may be completed by local civic and not-for-profit organizations, interested citizens, or the City itself.

If you have any suggestions regarding ways to improve this area, you are encouraged to email them to Mike Gridley of C & S Engineers at