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U.S. Department of Transport spends $ 1 billion to undo damage to past infrastructure




There is a new pilot program for communities that want to remove or modify parts of their transportation infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Transport announces the formation of the first program to address past mistakes in the development of highways, railroads, and other infrastructure that divides neighborhoods, often at the expense of black and brown neighborhoods. did.

Looking at some of the infrastructure we have set up in the past, we separate people from work, school, or healthcare. We need to do something about it. Transport Secretary Pete Butigeg commented with reporters on Wednesday, saying he announced a new $ 1 billion community reconnection program funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act. The money will be paid in 5 years.

According to Butigeg, there are many forms of funded projects, such as blocking the highway and building an apartment on top of it.

He added that it could mean building a public greenway where people could walk, bike and access public transport.

The agency officially announced a new program on Thursday from Birmingham, Alabama. The city has a long history of highways and railroads dividing the neighborhood and serves as the physical and emotional center of the civil rights movement. Other elected officials will come together to launch a new high-speed bus route in the city called the Birmingham Express, connecting about 25 communities to work, school and health care.

This is just one example of how state DOTs, communities working with transportation, and local leaders have used infrastructure as a way to increase access to opportunities. Assistant Secretary Christopher Cause said.

The Reconnecting Communitys Pilot Program will provide $ 195 million in funding in the first year, $ 50 million in planning grants and $ 145 million in capital construction grants.

Applicants are encouraged to build projects that pursue multiple sources of funding, including other DOT grant programs.

Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Director of the Federal Highway Authority, said that project sponsors not only look to the program, but also as a catalyst and point of use to get the most out of bipartisan infrastructure legislation. We strongly encourage you to use it.

In communities where the plan is complete and the project is ready to proceed, construction grants can help fund the project.

If transportation such as highways and railroads is a barrier, this program covers high quality public transportation, pedestrian walkways above and below existing highways, highways and roads with more parks. You can invest in concealing and developing straight parks and sidewalks to facilitate walking. Riding a bike to improve the mobility of nearby residents, Mr. Pollack outlined a wide range of projects that could qualify for approval.

She added that the project could help fund the refurbishment of existing infrastructure, including road redesign, facilitating a complete street project, and revitalizing the main street.

This program is often a response to many highways and other projects that have been built over the years in the guise of urban renewal, largely considering that infrastructure can move or damage communities. I didn’t. That often meant that generations of families grew up behind highways, depots, and other similar developments, exposing their inhabitants to noise and pollution.

This is our moment to ensure that policies, practices and investments managed for racial equity repair the harm of past policies and promote the outcome of change, and racially. And Michael McAfee, CEO and President of Policy Link, a national research institute focused on economic equity, said.

Butigeg said this is a positive vision. Our focus is not on assigning responsibilities. It’s not about getting caught up in guilt or regret. It’s about solving the problem. It is to fix the broken one.

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years covering daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.

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