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Federal funding to help fill in inner loop
Rochester, N.Y. - It's taken years of Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter working with Rochester Mayor Tom Richards to acquire funding to fill in the Inner Loop East in the city of Rochester.
Announced Friday, the $23.6 million project will be funded mostly by a $17.7 million federal TIGER Grant, $5.9 million will come from the city.
The Inner Loop East, from Monroe Avenue to Charlotte Street is the area set to be filled in.
"It was built at a period of time when urban design was focused on the automobile," said Rochester Mayor Tom Richards. "The whole idea was how can you make it easiest for the automobile and in a lot of respects for the city that means how fast can you get in and out of the city. Well I want you to hang around I don't want it to be that easy to get out of the city I want you to stick around, I want you to ride your bike in the city."
Business owners also see this project as a positive.
"For us it would be a great way to connect this community and grow what we've done in the last two years," Chris Spinella co-owner of Roc Brewing Company. "You got Monroe Avenue, you got Park Avenue, and you got East Avenue and they're not really connected they're kind of separate corridors. But they've done stuff to really improve the streets and I think when you add the inner loop here it will bring a better sense of community to those three corridors."
The project will raise the Inner Loop to street level, add betterspace for pedestrians and connect nearby neighborhoods to the center of the city.
"It's very seldom you get this much property this long right in the middle of a dense urban area, so we're going to be able to create here almost an idealistic street and street scape," said Richards.
The project could start as early as fall 2014. It will take about two to three years to complete.