The Inner Loop North Transformation Project could finally move forward as a result of legislation passed by the House of Representatives. The project was submitted as part of this year’s Surface Transportation Member Designated Projects and would expand on the success of the Inner Loop East project by filling in the Northern section and replacing it with a street-level boulevard.
“For too long, the Inner Loop has sectioned off entire parts of the city of Rochester, creating silos and closing off neighborhoods to development that could have uplifted families,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit). “Now we have the opportunity to correct the mistakes of previous generations, which is why I’m so proud to have helped deliver House funding for this transformational investment that will unite downtown Rochester and strengthen our urban core. I urge my partners in the Senate to join us in prioritizing this necessary project that will help us build a more equitable and inclusive community.”
Divided highways built in the midcentury have been detrimental to underserved communities, limiting economic development by cutting off access within the neighborhoods, Morelle said. Left to languish over decades of inaction, these neighborhoods will now be the focus of reunification and investment.
“The transformation of the Inner Loop will give a boost to the economic and infrastructural landscape of Rochester,” said state Sen. Jeremey Cooney (D-Rochester). “By investing in rebuilding our infrastructure, we are committing to redesigning our urban landscape with the needs of communities most harmed by the original construction of the Inner Loop at the forefront. This project will create jobs and encourage new businesses to grow which is an important step in revitalizing our city.”
The $4 million Inner Loop North Transformation Project is modeled after the Inner Loop East project and will fill in the northern section of the Inner Loop and replace it with a street-level boulevard to increase neighborhood connectivity while providing investment and job opportunities. The New York Times recently profiled the project and the history of the Inner Loop.
“Rochester is showing the nation how we can revitalize our cities by replacing old underused highways that have divided us both literally and figuratively,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “I’m excited that this funding will continue the work started by former Assemblyman David Gantt and our neighborhood leaders, as well as replicate the success of Inner Loop East, where $22 million in public dollars have returned over $229 million in private investment and created a brand new neighborhood.”
The project was included as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R.3684), which passed the House of Representatives in July.