With an apparent deal on the horizon for President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, the city of Rochester is sharing what they would do if they get a slice of the pie.
After a year and a half of discussions, the city and Bergmann Associates have released six possible designs to fill in the northern half of the Inner Loop. City officials say it would be one of the largest public works projects in decades, costing anywhere between $70 million and $250 million. They hope to get that money through the infrastructure bill.
If funded, it would be one of the largest public works initiatives in the history of Rochester, potentially adding back about 16 football fields' worth of land to the city.
Some designs keep a connection to Interstate 490; others don’t. At least one rendering has a tunnel; another has roundabouts and center medians on the streets. All add green space and room for new housing.
Bergmann’s Kimberly Baptiste is hopeful the ideas breathe new life into the area.
“All of those opportunities that were just presented and discussed will ultimately help to facilitate the restoration and reconnection of the city's neighborhoods, which is the underlying goal of this effort,” said Baptiste.
“We're here to help evaluate concepts that are looking at the conversion of Inner Loop North with the angles of improving connectivity, accessibility, and probably most importantly, advancing community development opportunities,” Baptiste continued.
But at a presentation Friday, not everyone was happy. Resident Don Bartalo felt he didn’t have enough time to speak.
“I've got your form right here,” Bartalo said. “It says you're going to listen to our ideas. You're not listening. You're talking. OK? Enough with that.”
City officials allowed Bartalo and other residents to share more ideas in small groups after the presentation.
Two more public engagement opportunities are scheduled for Tuesday:
- 9-10:45 a.m.: Genesee Brew House, 25 Cataract St.
- 3-6 p.m.: Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, 40 Franklin St.