Tell Minneapolis & St. Paul Leaders to Apply for Federal Funds to Study the Twin Cities Boulevard
The 2021 federal infrastructure bill (Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act) included the creation of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. This program provides $1 billion over a 5 year period to reconnect communities that were divided and disproportionately harmed by the construction of highways. One quarter of this funding is dedicated to planning grants to help cities fully evaluate potential projects to heal the damage caused by highways, including highway-to-boulevard conversions.
The application period for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program was launched on June 30 and concludes on October 13. This grant program is a critical opportunity to give Minneapolis and St. Paul the resources needed to evaluate the Twin Cities Boulevard and further study how a highway-to-boulevard conversion could work on I-94. USDOT is hosting a webinar about the program on July 14.
We are calling on Minneapolis and St. Paul city leaders to make a public commitment to submitting a joint planning grant application this summer. We are also asking the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin & Ramsey County and the Metropolitan Council to support and collaborate on this application.
This grant application should be to design and evaluate a highway-to-boulevard conversion for the Rethinking I-94 project and hire a firm with experience designing similar projects.
Take action today by sending an email to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, St. Paul Public Works Director Sean Kershaw, City Council Members in both cities and other Rethinking I-94 decision makers.
We will be reiterating this ask during the July 19 Twin Cities Boulevard Accountability Forum. Register here.