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New state budget includes $100 million for Inner Loop-north project

an aerial view of the northern portion of Rochester's Inner Loop highway.
Max Schulte
An aerial view of the northern portion of the Inner Loop.

The New York state budget approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul over the weekend includes funding for a large Rochester highway project.

The total state budget includes nearly $33 billion toward a five-year plan for infrastructure projects across the state.

Among the projects getting funding is Rochester’s Inner Loop, with up to $100 million earmarked for filling in the northern section of that highway. The eastern portion of the Inner Loop was filled in a few years ago.

This is part of concerted effort by state and local officials to reconnect communities that were divided by some of the highways that were built decades ago.

Hochul talked about the $100 million to fill in the rest of the Inner Loop during a stop in Rochester in early March.

“We have a two-year design process underway now,” said Hochul when she spoke March 7 at Monroe Community College’s downtown campus. “And I’m going say could we shorten that a little bit? But we’ll replicate the success of the Inner Loop East. We know how to do this, we’ve done it before, and we can have the in-fill. This area has divided Rochester too long.”

During Hochul’s visit last month, Mayor Malik Evans this project is crucial to help reconnect communities.

“This is clearly the most significant level of state investment in the Rochester area in modern memory,” said Evans. “I think you’d have to go back to Governor DeWitt Clinton and the building of the Erie Canal to find this level of state spending on capital projects in our city.”

There is design work on the Inner Loop project happening this year, and if everything goes according to plan, city officials say the project could be completed by 2027.

This story includes reporting by CITY Magazine's Gino Fanelli.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.