The City of Rochester is starting work on preliminary design and engineering of the Inner Loop North transformation project, a step in replacing the remaining 1.5-mile segment of the Inner Loop Expressway with an urban street network.The project will create approximately 22 acres for equitable redevelopment and green space.
A planning study was completed last fall, identifying a high-level concept to redesign the roadway. This concept, called City Grid Restoration, will be developed into an implementable, construction-ready design. Through a competitive RFP (Requests for Proposals) process, the city has selected a team led by Stantec to begin the detailed engineering Last year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $100 million for the project, and the New York State Department of Transportation is funding the project’s design.
Parallel to the design phase, the city will continue to develop concepts for future land use, including green space and redevelopment, along the Inner Loop North corridor. There will be extensive opportunities for public input on transportation design and land use.
“To reclaim prime real estate in the heart of Rochester and apply the best practices of city planning with a focus on equity, sustainability, and the reconnection of our neighborhoods and residents is inspiring,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans.
The Inner Loop was built to address concerns about traffic congestion in the 1950s and 1960s but is overbuilt and underutilized for the City’s transportation needs today. Redesign and removal of the aging expressway have been considered since 1990. The Inner Loop East Project, completed in 2017, replaced the easternmost segment of the highway with an urban street with dedicated pedestrian and bicycle facilities, reclaimed nearly six acres of land, and leveraged $21 million in public funds into more than $400 million in private investment for successful developments along or adjacent to the former Inner Loop corridor. This includes creating more than 500 housing units, 60 percent for residents earning less than the region’s median income.
The remaining Inner Loop roadway between the I-490 interchange and Union Street is about 2.5 times longer than the segment removed during the Inner Loop East project. The design process will involve additional analysis, required environmental reviews, and public engagement to complete the Inner Loop North project design. A range of topics will be addressed during the design phase, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, new street alignments, traffic flow, green spaces, and development opportunities.
For more information and updates on the project, visit www.innerloopnorth.com.