City officials in Rochester, New York recently announced its selection of Stantec for a $4.5 million contract to lead design of its Inner Loop North Transformation Project, which it estimates will cost about $100 million.
Plans call for a partially sunken highway to be removed to reunite neighborhoods divided by the road’s construction in the 1950s and 60s.
Last year, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the $100 million in funds for the project were included in the state DOT's five-year capital plan.
City officials said in a statement that, in parallel with the design phase, they would develop concepts for future land use in the area. Mayor Malik D. Evans said the planning would “focus on equity, sustainability and the reconnection of our neighborhoods and residents.”
Hundreds of homes and businesses were demolished to make way for the Inner Loop, which met Interstate 490 at two points to form a six-lane, 2.7-mile ring around downtown Rochester in an attempt to accommodate drivers. Instead, city officials now say it was overbuilt and underutilized while also severing a community.
The project covers the remaining 1.5-mile segment of the Inner Loop. It would fill in the sunken highway, remove seven bridges over it and replace the highway travel lanes, parallel service roads and on and off ramps.
The project would also add green space and create room for new development. Officials estimate about 22 acres could be opened up by the project with about 8 acres of that area dedicated for green space, such as restoring Franklin Square, a park that was cut nearly in half by the Inner Loop’s construction, and adding room for a playground and ball fields at nearby schools.
City officials expect construction to begin in 2027 and be completed by 2028.
Source: ENR New York