September 3, 2021
Press Release
$4 Million Project Supports the Reunification and Revitalization of Downtown Rochester

(Rochester, NY) – Congressman Joe Morelle joined with local government partners to announce funding for the Inner Loop North Transformation Project was recently included in 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 Congressman Morelle. “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. Left to languish over decades of inaction, these neighborhoods will now be the focus of reunification and investment.

The 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 $4 million project can be read in full here. The New York Times recently profiled this 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 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.”

"I am so grateful for Congressman Morelle's work in securing 4 million dollars in support for the inner loop North transformation,” said Councilman/Mayor-Elect Malik Evans. “For too long the inner loop has separated our community, and we now have the opportunity to bind all of Rochester's communities together and spur transformational economic impact. I look forward to the future of the Northern Interloop transformation."

“Rochester’s Inner Loop was not constructed with our communities or their families in mind. It cut straight through our downtown neighborhoods and has for decades denied residents access to jobs, development, and meaningful investments,” said Assemblymember Demond Meeks. “It’s important that we are intentional about reunifying these communities and acknowledging the errors of the past. I am incredibly thankful for the support that is now being shown to the underserved people and struggling homeowners throughout the city of Rochester. I hope that the Inner Loop North Transformation Project demonstrates the start of a continued commitment towards the upliftment of all Rochesterians.”

“Today’s announcement marks another important step in bridging our families and neighborhoods,” said Assemblymember Bronson. “As we mark the beginning of phase two of the Inner Loop project, we also acknowledge the significance of the connection between our neighbors to the North with the heart of our city. I applaud Congressman Morelle for his dogged determination in advancing this project, to Mayor Warren and her team for keeping the project moving forward, and my colleagues in state government for supporting the families of Rochester by ensuring the success of phase two of the Inner Loop project.”

“Removing structural barriers to our communities’ growth ensures we are improving Rochester for everyone, and I thank Congressman Joe Morelle for his leadership in pursuing funding for the Inner Loop North Transformation Project,” said Senator Samra G. Brouk. “In reclaiming these spaces, we are confronting a painful legacy in a way that uplifts, reconnects and empowers the Rochester families most harmed by racist transportation policies of the past.”

“The transformation of the Inner Loop will give a boost to the economic and infrastructural landscape of Rochester,” said Senator Jeremey Cooney. “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.”

This project was included as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R.3684), which passed the House of Representatives in July.