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Stantec receives top award for Rochester’s Inner Loop transformation

From 1960s expressway to bustling urban boulevard, long lost neighborhood connections revived


Global design firm Stantec has received one of the engineering profession’s highest design awards for the transformation of Rochester, NY’s Inner Loop East from a moat-like 1960s downtown expressway into a new boulevard that is already attracting new business, residents, and visitors. On April 7, 2018, the Stantec team will accept the premier “Diamond” award in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)/New York’s engineering excellence awards competition. This is the latest in a series of local, state, and national awards for this upstate New York transportation initiative. Later in April, Stantec will be honored with a National Recognition Award from the National ACEC.

Designed by a team of Stantec engineers and landscape architects, and funded primarily by a US Department of Transportation grant, the project reconstructs a 2/3-mile stretch of the sunken highway that has divided the eastside neighborhood for decades, cutting it off from downtown businesses and arts and entertainment destinations. Now, instead of a lightly used, six-lane, below grade roadway, stands an at-grade boulevard with on-street parking and a two-way cycle track.

Stantec principal and project manager Jim Hofmann reflects, “While just 4,400 feet long, this new stretch of downtown roadway generates an impact that will reverberate long into the future.” The revived area has been fashioned into a complete street, designed for all ages, abilities, and modes of travel. Now, where rusting guard rails once ruled, the city has created six acres of new development parcels and is already attracting retail, commercial, and multi-family housing into the mix.

“I want to congratulate the men and women of Stantec on the receipt of this much deserved recognition for their incredible performance on the Inner Loop East Transformation Project,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Stantec’s design helped launch one of most significant and successful public-works projects in the modern history of Rochester. The removal of the Inner Loop expressway has allowed us to remove a barrier between our neighborhoods and Downtown and spur development projects that are helping us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities in our city.”

In this 50-year-old vestige of urban renewal—when cars were king, and suburbs sprawled—Rochester leaders achieved a generational opportunity to reestablish the original city grid, reconnect neighborhoods severed from the central business district, improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility and aesthetics, and provide an overall revitalized corridor.

Says Hofmann, “Rochester is one of the first cities in the nation to successfully remove this type of highly isolating inner-city freeway. Today we better understand that transportation networks are a crucial part of the economic, social, and environmental health of a community and the City of Rochester has shown great leadership in urban planning that is being recognized nationwide.”

Stantec teams also received a Platinum Award for the Atlantic Yards LIRR Tunnel Extension (West Portal), Brooklyn, NY, and a Silver Award for the Jones Beach State Park Gateway Monuments, in Wantagh, NY.

The Inner Loop East Transformation project has attracted national attention from a number of national outlets and organizations, including the New York Times, City Lab, Landscape Architecture, and the Congress for National Urbanism, among others. Reflecting its multi-faceted impacts, the project also recently received:

Envision Silver accreditation from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure. Envision fosters dramatic and necessary improvements in the sustainability performance and resiliency of infrastructure, measuring a project’s performance across 60 criteria.

Best Complete Streets Initiatives 2017  from the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Project of the Year from the New York State American Public Works Association (APWA).

The Inner Loop project is led by the City of Rochester in collaboration with the New York State Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Monroe County Department of Transportation, and Genesee Transportation Council. 

About Stantec
We're active members of the communities we serve. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across 6 continents; including more than 400 dedicated professionals in Mid-Atlantic region. Our work—architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, engineering, construction services, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, decommissioning, and remediation—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, Stantec has the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Media Contact
Marti Mueller
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: (585) 319-3052
Cell: (585) 355-9107


Intersection of E. Broad Street and South Union.


Intersection of E. Broad Street and South Union

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