Slaughter Discusses the Dangers of Pres. Trump’s Budget Cuts at the Inner Loop
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today discussed the dangers of President Trump’s budget cuts at the Inner Loop following a tour of the project earlier in the day. Slaughter spearheaded this project for many years, securing a highly competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to reconnect the Rochester neighborhoods that have been separated by Rochester's Inner Loop since the 1960s. Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget would eliminate the TIGER grant program, which has made the Inner Loop project possible and the new train station a reality while helping create jobs nationwide. Slaughter has been fighting to make sure the president’s proposed budget never becomes a reality.
“Nearly a dozen years ago, I stood on East Avenue to announce the first multi-million federal investment to redevelop and reconnect Rochester by filling in the Inner Loop. This project is now nearly complete, and it’s poised to open up economic development and strengthen our economy. It’s just one project in our community that would never have been possible without the TIGER program. The proof of the importance of this program is all around us. The two TIGER grants I’ve secured for the Inner Loop project and our new train station has helped Rochester out-perform much larger cities like Phoenix, Dallas, and Indianapolis. President Trump’s call to eliminate it breaks his promise to invest in infrastructure at a time when we badly need to repair our roads, bridges, and tunnels,” said Slaughter.
“We couldn’t be happier about the redevelopment of the Inner Loop and thank Congresswoman Slaughter for her leadership in making it happen. The original highway development cut downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods, and we are happy to be reconnected to Park Avenue and NOTA. Hart’s is now only steps away from our neighbors and able to offer a full service grocery store within walking distance to Park Ave., NOTA, and downtown. The redevelopment of the Inner Loop with new residents and businesses next to Hart's will reinforce the East End as a vibrant neighborhood and a wonderful place to live, work, play, worship, dine, and shop. These infrastructure improvements are opening up a massive amount of private investment and supporting local businesses like Hart’s Local Grocers,” said Glenn Kellogg, president of Hart’s Local Grocers.
“We in the labor community are thrilled that Congresswoman Louise Slaughter continues to strongly advocate for projects that bring jobs and grow economic development opportunities in our community. The Inner Loop project is beneficial to the many tradespeople who are involved with the development of this project and to the many community members who benefit from its use. We truly appreciate Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's ability to deliver funding to our area that benefits our entire region,” said Dan Maloney, president of Rochester and Vicinity Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The U.S. Department of Transportation administers the highly competitive TIGER program. Slaughter successfully secured $32.7 million in TIGER funding for the Inner Loop and new train station, bringing more TIGER money to Rochester than larger cities like Dallas, Phoenix, and Indianapolis. Since 2009, this program has provided a combined $5.1 billion to 421 projects in all 50 states.
In August of 2013, Slaughter announced a $17.7 million TIGER grant to bring the eastern section of the Inner Loop to grade. The grant – which was the third largest TIGER grant in the nation at that time – was used to "bridge the moat" between the city center and communities like the Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue, and the South Wedge.
In 2006, Slaughter secured $1.92 million in funding for the design and environmental work related to this project to demonstrate that traffic volumes no longer support the need for the Inner Loop and that the highway is a significant barrier between local neighborhoods. In 2004, Slaughter secured the project’s first major boost in funding of $2.4 million for the reconstruction of the eastern portion of the Inner Loop.
Funding for the new Rochester train station was made possible by a $15 million grant through the TIGER program, in addition to $3.5 million Slaughter secured for the preliminary engineering phase.
Despite the importance of this program, President Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 would eliminate funding for TIGER while slashing funding for the Department of Transportation by $2 billion.
While opposing the president’s budget, Slaughter continues to support investments in infrastructure that would help our region take advantage of Rochester’s economic resurgence at a time when AIM Photonics and the REMADE Institute ramp up and scientists, engineers, managers and government offices increase demand even further.