The City of Utica has been approved for more than $11 million to improve its wastewater collection system and prevent stormwater overflows in downtown Utica.

The grant money and low-cost loans will allow Utica to fortify its sewer system by replacing sewer mains and fixing gaps where water can seep into the collection system and lead to overflows.

The EFC Board of Directors today approved two short-term loans – a $2 million interest-free loan and a $2 million market-rate loan – that will save the city $134,500 over the cost of borrowing on its own.

Utica previously received a $5 million Water Quality Improvement Grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation and a $1.3 million grant from the Empire State Development Corp.

“The funding provided by the State for these essential projects will go to great lengths in improving the City’s aging infrastructure and sewer system," said Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri. "I thank Governor Cuomo and EFC President Driscoll for once again delivering for the residents of Utica.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2015 as the city finishes the initial phase of its infrastructure improvement program.