WXXI AM News

Public construction phase of the inner loop is now over, new ramp opens

Nov 22, 2017

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Eastern portion of the Inner Loop has been filled in.

Mayor Lovely Warren along with local and state officials cut the ribbon on the Union Street Exit Wednesday afternoon.

An orange car pulled up to the exit, with Mayor Warren driving Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, it marked the first passenger car to use the new ramp.

The moat, as many including Slaughter called it, is now gone.

"We know that in 1960 we built a moat in Rochester, a barrier to downtown development, when we had hoped it would be a way to grow the city's core."

The mayor said this project, over a decade and $21 million in the making is about bringing the city back together.

It’s about connecting neighborhoods, it’s about connecting businesses, it’s about the future of our city. And everyone coming together in government to get it done."

She went on to say the public construction project is now complete, with private entities beginning their work. So all of the dirt piles and trailers you still see in the area are for the development of future projects.

Where the inner loop once was will now be filled with retail, apartments, a hotel and an expanded Strong Museum.

Warren said the project also created plenty of jobs, both the ones used to revamp this section of the loop, and the jobs that will be needed to further develop it.

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

"On this project you have all levels of government working together to secure funding, you have all levels of government to get it, not only filled in but our team working with private businesses."

The project eliminated a 2/3 mile segment of the inner loop on the east side of downtown between Monroe Avenue and Charlotte Street and replaced it with a complete street.

The new ramp runs below East Main Street to connect Union Street to the remaining northern section of the inner loop.