Following the successful completion of the Inner Loop East project, the City of Rochester is now moving forward with a plan to address the remaining northern section of the Inner Loop. The transformation of the Inner Loop North will reconnect Downtown Rochester with several Rochester neighborhoods, the Public Market, and High Falls; restore a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly street grid; create new active and passive green spaces; and foster opportunities for equitable economic and community development. Together with Rochester’s ROC the Riverway program and Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the vision for true transformation of Rochester’s downtown and neighborhoods is coming to fruition.
Envision. Invest. Transform.
1965 - Construction of the Inner Loop ends.
In 1965, construction of the Inner Loop was completed. During the 13-year construction period, hundreds of buildings were destroyed; homes, offices, churches, hotels, public buildings, parks and factories all met the wrecking ball in order to better accommodate the automobile, which, as was thought at the time, would better position the City to compete with its growing car-oriented suburbs. The Inner Loop was the first of what was to become a network of limited access highways designed to move traffic quickly through the City. The City's population slowly started to decline as suburbanization began to take hold.
Post-Construction of the Inner Loop (CityLab.com)
Downtown Actions Areas (CDC Rochester)
1990 - Vision 2000 Plan: A Plan for Downtown.
In 1991, the City of Rochester completed the Vision 2000 Plan: A Plan for Downtown. This comprehensive plan identified action items aimed at improving the City's quality of life and accelerating downtown growth. In an effort to re-connect the City Center to the surrounding communities, the Plan specifically called for the removal of the southeastern portion of the Inner Loop.
Pre-Construction of the Inner Loop (CityLab.com)
1952 - Construction of the Inner Loop begins.
Construction of the Inner Loop began in 1952 and was built in 5 sections over 13 years. Around this time, the City's population was 330,000 with no signs of growth slowing.
2001 - Inner Loop Improvement Study.
In 2001, the City secured federal funding to assess the existing conditions of the Inner Loop and evaluate various alternatives to improve the links between the Central Business District and surrounding City neighborhoods. The Inner Loop Improvement Study aimed to identify feasible modifications that would transform the existing transportation infrastructure into a facility with appropriate scale, size and configuration to better meet the community's needs for access, neighborhood cohesion and land use. The Study ultimately determined the removal of the southeastern segment of the Inner Loop was feasible.
Conceptual Alignment (Inner Loop Improvement Study)
Inner Loop East Project Study Area (Inner Loop East Project)
2014 - Inner Loop East Project.
The continued loss of population and jobs due to suburban growth, combined with a changed approach to urban development, have together eliminated the perceived need for the Inner Loop. Overbuilt and underused, the Inner Loop had become an inefficient corridor that was in need of re-imagining. Previous plans and studies culminated in the City securing a federal grant of $17 million to fill in the southeastern portion of the Inner Loop. The Inner Loop East Transformation project was completed in 2017, and as of early 2020, has acted as a catalyst for more than $200 million in investment.
2020 - Inner Loop North Transformation Study.
After seeing initial success with the Inner Loop East Project, the City was awarded State funding to conduct a planning study for the remainder of the Inner Loop corridor. This study looked at the entirety of the remaining corridor, from I-490 to the Union Street / Main Street termini. The study also examined the neighborhoods surrounding the Inner Loop, seeking strategies to connect and revitalize these areas.
Inner Loop North Transformation Study Area
Public Workshop, December 2021
2020 and beyond -
Public engagement is and will continue to be a critical aspect to the Inner Loop North transformation project. Over the course of the study phase (2020 - 2022), 10 public workshops were held along with eight-plus stakeholder meetings, six Community Advisory Committee meetings (and 13 Racial Equity Subcommittee meetings), six Technical Advisory Committee meetings, three pop-up events, and an online survey which collected 300+ responses. As the project moves into the design phase, there will be many opportunities for community members to continue to have a voice in the redesign of Inner Loop North.