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Inner Loop removal topic of upcoming meeting

By THOMAS ADAMS - 8/26/2013 3:37:39 PM

An update on the proposed removal of the Inner Loop on the east side of Rochester is scheduled for Wednesday at City Hall.

The public information meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in City Council chambers.

Design consultants will give a detailed presentation of the project, preliminary design alternatives will be discussed, and suggestions from the public will be taken, officials said.

The project would eliminate two-thirds of one mile of the expressway between Monroe Avenue and Charlotte Street and replace it with an at-grade street.

“This project will benefit the entire city,” Mayor Thomas Richards said in a statement.

“We are building a city that encourages walking, biking and enjoying the outdoor environment. Replacing this section of the Inner Loop will demonstrate the city’s commitment to fostering quality of life here in Rochester.”

Preliminary engineering and design should be completed by late this year or in early 2014, officials said. Final design will be completed by next summer, and construction could begin as soon as next fall if funding is obtained, they said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., met with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx this month to lobby for Rochester’s application for a $17.7 million grant to fund the project.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery discretionary grant would allow the Inner Loop section to be replaced by a boulevard with nine acres of developable land.

“For decades, the Inner Loop has acted like a concrete moat around downtown Rochester, keeping businesses, residents, shoppers and investments alike out of the downtown, and that has to stop,” Schumer said in a statement after his meeting with Foxx.

“The city of Rochester has put together an incredibly well-developed plan to remove that obstacle to growth and economic development, and I have gone straight to the top to urge the Department of Transportation to accept the city’s application for this TIGER grant.”

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