Rochester’s Urban Freeway Project Earns Envision Silver

September 24, 2018
PHOTO: Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

The Inner Loop East Transformation project, in Rochester, NY, has been given an Envision Silver award by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The renovation is the first Envision-recognized project in Rochester and the third such in New York.

Basically, an underused highway was replaced with a complete street, illuminated by energy-efficient LED street lights. But the project team really went the extra mile when adding neighborhood amenities. Now there is a protected two-way bicycle lane, ample public seating, safer crosswalks, wider sidewalks, and greenery. These enhancements not only improve the public space but also advance safety and security for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.

Energy efficiency played a key role in the transformation of the inner loop, whose annual energy consumption is now reduced by 51.6 percent. This was done by incorporating LEDs instead of high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures for the lighting component of the design. The City of Rochester tested LED safety requirements by completing LED street-lighting trials in other parts of the city.

And the team didn’t stop at the vibrant community additions; they looked further ahead. The project was designed to accommodate future residential and commercial growth as well as transportation infrastructure. Overall, Rochester’s downtown area is now more accessible to the public, improving the growth, development, and quality of life for the community.

The ISI Envision rating system measures sustainable infrastructure projects in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Learn more about Envision and ISI at

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