Utica Tower landmark to be completed in May

Travelers along the Thruway in central New York will soon have a new landmark to watch for.

The Utica Tower is a privately financed project that's been seven years in the making. It'll be completed and dedicated in May.

The steel structure is basically a 125-foot-tall sign. It will have 7-foot-tall illuminated red letters on three sides spelling out "Utica." It's in North Utica and will be visible from routes 8, 12, 5 and other highways as well as the Thruway.

It was designed by Frank Giotto, president of Fiber Instrument Sales in Oriskany. He has put more than $250,000 into it. Giotto says the idea came out of brainstorming with local businessmen and elected officials looking for a way to put the city of Utica back on the map.