Pont De Rennes Bridge Rehabilitation and Browns Race Street Rehabilitation Project

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About the project 

Pont de Rennes was constructed in 1891 and consist of a wrought iron bridge spanning the Genesee River Gorge.  The bridge originally carried vehicles as the Platt Street Bridge, but was converted pedestrian bridge in 1982 and was named for Rochester’s Sister City, Rennes, France.  It is recognized as one of the best places in the city to view the falls and river gorge, standing 100 feet over the Genesee River.  Significant structural repairs are needed to ensure the safety of this historic infrastructure.  In addition to structural repairs, funds will be used to create a more dynamic public space along the bridge.

Browns Race is a National Register Historic District and a city Preservation District.  Browns Race was originally constructed in 1815 and used as a small power canal.  Water was diverted from High Falls and used to power water wheels for various mills that were built in and around the cliffs north of the falls.  The street Browns Race was later constructed alongside the canal, where it now accommodates various businesses.  The race is still visible, running under a metal grate, alongside and below the street. The street rehabilitation project includes Brown Race (From Furnace St to Platt St), Platt Street (From Mill St to Browns Race) and Furnace Street (From Mill St to Browns Race). 


Project Objectives 

Pont de Rennes: 

  • Perform In-depth bridge inspection
  • Perform structural steel replacement/repair of deteriorated steel members
  • Perform additional enhancements which may include: creative lighting elements for safety and aesthetics, showcasing public art, installation of plantings and updating existing trail connections



Pont de Rennes is a major pedestrian connection between High Falls and the east side of the river providing connectivity between important community institutions such as MCC’s Downtown Campus, Kodak headquarters, and the Genesee Brewery.  The bridge is also an important connection between neighborhoods on both sides of the river immediately north of downtown.

Browns Race:

  • Replace and improve failed underdrain system
  • Evaluation and improvements to existing pavement section 
  • Street improvements may include: spot sidewalk replacement, upgrades to curb ramps, replace damaged and missing bollards, bike racks, and light fixtures




Project Team 

The design consultant team of LaBella Associates, with Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects, Lu Engineers, Baptiste Engineering, and Ravi Engineering was selected through the City’s Request for Proposal (RFP) process to provide engineering, landscape architecture, public outreach, planning and design services for the project.

Public engagement and feedback for understanding the needs and visions of the community as they relate to the project will be implemented through stakeholder meetings, public meetings, and project updates on the City’s website.


Project Schedule 


  • Spring 2021 – Inspections / Stakeholder Meeting No.1

  • Summer 2021 – Public Meeting No. 1
  • Early 2022 – Stakeholder Meeting No. 2 / Public Meeting No.2 / Selection of Alternatives
  • Late 2022 – Final Design
  • Early 2023 – Public Bid for Construction
  • Spring 2023 – Anticipated Construction Start

Schedule is subject to adjustments.


Project Funding and Attributions 

Design and construction documents are prepared with funds provided by City of Rochester and the New York State Department of Transportation.

NYSDOT logo    City Logo Evans


Project Documents 

Key files from the stakeholder and public information meetings will be uploaded to the project website shortly after they are held. 

Public Meeting #1 Presentation 

Public Meeting #2 Presentation


If you have questions or comments about the Pont de Rennes project, please contact Tomas Andino in the City’s Bureau of Architecture and Engineering at 428-6535, or by email.

If you have questions or comments about the Browns Race project, please contact Ruben Escobar in the City’s Bureau of Architecture and Engineering at 428-6800, or by email.