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Historic Erie Canal Aqueduct/Broad Street Corridor

Rochester, New York

Market Sector

Mobility, Planning, and Management, Surface Transportation


Multi-Modal Studies, Planning and Permitting

Services Provided




T.Y. Lin International was retained by the City of Rochester to create a master plan for the Historic Erie Canal Aqueduct and Broad Street corridor. The study area comprises the length of Broad Street, from its intersection with West Main Street to the other side of the Genesee River where it meets South Avenue. The planning boundaries also span Broad Street along these limits to include approximately one block on either side. This portion of Broad Street matches the original alignment of the Erie Canal, where it ran through downtown Rochester before the canal was rerouted to the south of the City in 1918.

A major focal point of the corridor is the Erie Canal Aqueduct of 1842, which carried the Erie Canal over the Genesee River. After the old canal bed was abandoned, a tunnel was constructed beneath what eventually became Broad Street, and subway service ran below the roadway until 1956. The interior of the tunnel and the Erie Canal Aqueduct have been vacant since that time.

Emerging thematic and programming components of the master plan itself will serve the City in conceptual, preliminary, and final design for the adaptive reuse of the Broad Street corridor and Aqueduct, and will guide economic development throughout the district. Historic interpretation, establishment of a niche canal district, creative reuse strategies, phased public improvements, and incentivizing private investments were the primary goals of the project. TYLI’s master plan is envisioned to act as a catalyst, resurrecting the Erie Canal Aqueduct of 1842 to a place of prominence and public gathering in the community.

Specific tasks for the project include streetscape and thematic design, mitigation measures for traffic that is displaced by the closing of the Broad Street Bridge, and a significant public participation effort. Our team conducted a total of four public meetings, including a visioning workshop and an alternatives presentation. As part of this effort, our team has developed a website to provide the public with general project information, as well as updates on current project activities. The project also involves frequent meetings and coordination with the Genesee Transportation Council, Monroe County Department of Transportation, Community Advisory Committee, the City of Rochester Tech Team, and various advocacy groups.

Diamond Award for Studies, Research, and Consulting, 2011
American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC-NY)
Citation for Design Excellence, 2009
American Institute of Architects