Rep. Sewell Announces $800,000 Grant to Birmingham from the Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Program
February 28, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced $800,000 for the City of Birmingham from the Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and burdened by past transportation infrastructure decisions. The funding will be used to advance data-driven transportation recommendations to mitigate the negative impacts of existing rail and highway infrastructure on the connectivity of many of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods, and historically Black communities especially. In June 2022, Rep. Sewell welcomed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Birmingham to announce the launch of the Reconnecting Communities Program.
“Last year, I was so excited to welcome Secretary Buttigieg to Birmingham to announce the new Reconnecting Communities pilot program established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Rep. Sewell. “Today, I’m even more excited that Birmingham will receive $800,000 under this program. This funding will help make much-needed improvements to the city to increase safety and accessibility and reconnect communities that have been divided by highways and railroads.”
“As the only member of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation to vote in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I am overjoyed to see investments like these coming to our state,” continued Sewell. “I applaud Secretary Buttigieg and the entire Biden-Harris Administration for utilizing transportation as another tool to help us build a more equitable future.”
“We were proud to welcome U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Congresswoman Terri Sewell to Birmingham in June 2022 to announce this transformative federal program, which seeks to stitch neighborhoods back together that have been cut off from one another by highway and rail infrastructure,” said Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation for investing in Birmingham’s efforts to enhance transit, pedestrian, and cycling infrastructure for our residents and increase access to goods, services, and jobs.”
Background on The Reconnecting Communities Program
The Reconnecting Communities Program provides technical assistance and funding for communities’ planning and construction projects that aim to connect neighborhoods back together by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating transportation barriers such as highways and railroad tracks.
This first round of grants will fund construction and planning for transformative community-led solutions, including capping interstates with parks, filling in sunken highways to reclaim the land for housing, converting inhospitable transportation facilities to tree-lined Complete Streets, and creating new crossings through public transportation, bridges, tunnels, and trails. These projects will help revitalize communities, provide access to jobs and opportunities, and reduce pollution.
For more information on the Reconnecting Communities Program Announcement, click here.