Press Release | March 13, 2024

SELC applauds effort to reconnect and rebuild communities highways ripped apart 

WASHINGTON — Today President Biden announced $3.3 billion awarded through the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program to projects in over 40 states that will help reconnect and rebuild communities divided by transportation infrastructure. The program will fund 15 critical projects in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.   

The announcement is part of a broader plan to address the disproportionate impacts of highways and other infrastructure that were built through Black and other communities of color. Many of these projects displaced families, destroyed generations of wealth, and left the people who remained with polluting and dangerous barriers through the heart of their communities.  

“While the damage that has been done to these communities can never be undone, efforts to successfully reconnect and rebuild will increase access to everything, including food and jobs, and will make communities more walkable and safer for biking,” said Trip Pollard, leader of SELC’s Land and Community program.  

In Georgia, more than $200 million will support projects across the state, including $50 million for the Atlanta Beltline to Flint River Trail—a 31-mile path connecting downtown Atlanta to the city of Lovejoy in Clayton County. A $157 million grant will also fund phase one of The Stitch, capping an interstate that runs through the heart of Atlanta and reconnecting communities divided by the road decades ago.  

“The climate crisis requires rethinking our approach to transportation and The Stitch is a great example of how we can redesign our roads to work better for people,” said Brian Gist, a senior attorney with SELC specializing in transportation. “This program shows how investment in communities can start repairing damage done by highways and historic underinvestment.” 

In Birmingham, Alabama, $15 million was awarded to redesign Birmingham’s Black Main Street to convert the one-way road to a two-way road, reconnecting downtown neighborhoods and businesses that were divided by the construction of Interstate 65 in the 1960s.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

Press Contacts

Tasha Durrett

Senior Communications Manager (VA)

Phone: 434-977-4090
Email: [email protected]