Baltimore City to Get $2 Million for Removal of “Highway to Nowhere”
“U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Program will provide funding to reconnect communities isolated and excluded from economic opportunity by past infrastructure decisions.
Last Tuesday, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $2 million in federal funding for Baltimore City to plan for the redevelopment of the Highway to Nowhere in West Baltimore, a highway project that destroyed homes and businesses and displaced 1,500 residents at the time of its construction more than 50 years ago. The structure has divided and damaged those communities ever since. The Highway to Nowhere is in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Program, an initiative the lawmakers fought successfully to include in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The provisions in the law were modeled off of legislation authored by Senator Van Hollen and introduced as a bill by Senator Van Hollen and Senator Cardin, who championed the legislation in his role as the Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the Senate, and led by Congressmen Mfume, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, and Trone in the House, along with then-Congressman Anthony Brown. The program was designed specifically with the Highway to Nowhere in mind – to reconnect communities isolated and excluded from economic opportunity by past infrastructure decisions. Today’s announcement also comes after Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Congressmen Mfume, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Brown, Raskin, and Trone wrote in October 2022 to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of Baltimore City’s grant application for the funding.
“This is exciting news for the City of Baltimore! We extend our sincere gratitude to U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, as well as Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone for their timely and diligent efforts on this issue. Thanks to their leadership and the funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the City of Baltimore can finally begin to heal from the devastating impact of the callous and discriminatory highway project that separated communities, displaced families, and shuttered small businesses over 50 years ago. The $2 million earmarked for the demolition of the Highway to Nowhere serves as a concrete example of what it means to lead with love and empathy, instead of mere tolerance, and to prioritize equity for all of our communities,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.
View the full press release here.”