It's the end of the road for this section of Rochester's Inner Loop.
ROCHESTER, NY – Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) and Mayor Tom Richards (D) announced a $17.7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to bring the Eastern section of the Inner Loop to grade, a project that Rep. Slaughter and the Mayor have spearheaded for many years. The grant – the third largest TIGER grant in the nation – will be used to “bridge the moat” between the city center and communities like the Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue, and the South Wedge that have been separated by Rochester’s Inner Loop since the 1950s…

“We’ve been fighting for a long time to get the east end of the Inner Loop filled in, and I’m proud to announce that now we’ve got the federal funding to do it,” Rep. Slaughter said. “This TIGER grant – the third largest in the nation – will greatly improve the quality of life for so many of Rochester’s residents by connecting neighborhoods that have been separated for so long and restoring the wholeness and continuity of the city. I look forward to breaking ground on this project in the near future.”

“This is great news for our city as it will allow for the reconnecting of our neighborhoods, encourage walking and biking and it will create a new corridor for business, retail and housing,” said Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “The area between Monroe Avenue and Charlotte Street will no longer be looked at as a convenient way to exit our city, but as a convenient place to live, work and play in our city.”

The plan will fund construction on the 2/3 mile stretch of the eastern Inner Loop that runs from Monroe Avenue to Charlotte Street. The new plan will result in a more livable, connected city for all of its residents.

The Inner Loop project has a $24 million total cost that including the $17.7 million TIGER grant funding will also see a $5.9 million match by the City of Rochester. More information on the project can be found at www.cityofrochester.gov/innerloopeast.

In 2006, Slaughter secured $1.92 million in funding for the design and environmental work related to this project to demonstrate that traffic volumes no longer support the need for the Inner Loop, and that the highway is a significant barrier between local neighborhoods. This is the second TIGER grant secured by Rep. Slaughter in the last 16 months. In June of 2012, Rep. Slaughter announced a $15 million TIGER grant for a new Rochester Intermodal Transportation Center to replace the current “temporary” Amtrak station on Central Ave.

See also Latest Inner Loop Plan: A Winner In Our Book


  1. So…will the folks in charge of this little project hire a firm from New York…preferably WESTERN NY, or will they hire from another state, as is normally the case?

  2. This is a fantastic project and one that will benefit the city for many many year to come. This is exactly what I want my tax dollars going to and exactly what I ask from my politicians. When this development project is done I may not even live downtown anymore but I assure you when completed and area like this with bars/restaurants/housing will attract me to venture back into the city and spend my consumer dollars. Big win for Rochester and redevelopment. Look forward to seeing its evolution and I truly believe this will bring youth and the right kind of demographic down deep into the city district.

  3. Oh, good! I’ve seen far too many local projects I recent years given to low-bid firms from out of state! Glad to hear this will support the local economy.

  4. John, while Stantec has an office in High Falls, they’re a Canadian company with a presence all across the US and Canada… hardly local.

  5. Stantec, while based in Canada, has over 150 employees working in High Falls, after their 2004 acquisition of the Sear-Brown Group. I think we’re splitting hairs here. Stantec has a large employee base here in Rochester. The employees here get paid and (presumably) spend their paychecks here in the Rochester region. Maybe a portion of their profits are in Canada, for sure, but there’s millions of dollars being indirectly invested in Rochester, in the form of wages. I’d much rather see a Stantec than another engineering firm with absolutely no presence in Rochester. SB, I think you’re missing the forest for the trees.

  6. McDonalds has more workers in the Rochester area and they all spend their paychecks here too. That fact doesn’t make them a local business. Money paid by the city will go to the corporation and those workers will continue to live in the Rochester area, just as they would have if the city picked a local business.

  7. SO HAPPY to see this happen. Rochester finally makes commonsense progress, putting its first foot down against the community-destroying 100-year worship of cars.

  8. I don’t understand the “bridge the moat” thing. There are literally bridges over the inner loop, connecting center city and the outer neighborhoods. The way some people talk, it’s like the inner loop is literally an impenetrable moat.

    I do understand the detrimental effects of driving “past” Rochester instead of “through” it, but I don’t quite get the “cut off/reconnect” thing. :/

  9. @Douglas, you can just put a deck over the inner loop. Go down there and look at it and you’ll see what I mean. It rises up and down like a roller coaster, dipping below grade only for brief segments.

    And ripping up railroads is not a fair comparison. No one is suggesting getting rid of the NY State Thruway or even I-490. A freeway that connects two cities is far different than a freeway that divides an urban area.

  10. Just stopped by the website (used to live in Rochester) — I usually check few times a year. I was surprised to see the plan to close Inner Loop (Eastern Section)! I would have thought maybe City of Rochester would create an underground subway or light rail (allowing several future subway/light rail lines connection). Even more surprise, there’s no light rail plan on Union Street.

    Am going to visit Rochester next week — will ask my friends about this and see how they view this.


  11. @Doug, @Mike: I am a frequent visitor to Rochester and have actually walked most of the access roads of the Inner Loop. I have also seen the positive results of decking a few blocks of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in northern downtown Dallas:
    I believe there are at least two sections on the north and east portions of the Inner Loop where a deck could be possible.

  12. After this event, we realy need to work on our bad bus service. Still broken-needs work. Now that we are connecting neighborhoods,let’s get a ”South side Flyer” going. Ever want to get from Corn hill to South and Gregory district and onto Monroe/Park/NOTA….on one bus? Sure would be a great use for a “trolley”.

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