Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Delivers Over $35 Million to California

Funding will help communities address inequities created by transportation infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that California will receive nearly $36 million through the first round of funding from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. This program—which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Lawwas modeled off the Reconnecting Communities Act that Padilla co-led in 2021. The program will fund the planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure.

“This funding will help repair the injustices in communities of color, as we engage in a historic rebuilding of American infrastructure over the next decade. For far too long, the construction of certain highways and other transportation infrastructure also created barriers to mobility and economic opportunity for communities,” Senator Padilla said. “That’s why I supported the Reconnecting Communities Act and pushed for its inclusion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—now we are seeing its first investments in California. Reconnecting our communities will decrease pollution, increase jobs, and help everyone thrive.”

The following California projects received funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program:

$30 million for the City of Long Beach

The project will reconfigure West Shoreline Drive to remove a roadway barrier and improve access and connectivity between Downtown Long Beach and public open space; create a new separated bicycle path and pedestrian amenities; and divert highway traffic from residential streets to major arterials.

$2 million for the City of Pasadena

The project will support the study transportation and land use needs related to the future redevelopment of the I-710 “northern stub,” which was recently transferred to the City. The three-year planning process, which will include a feasibility analysis and vision planning, will ultimately result in a site specific plan.

$2 million for the City of San Jose

The project will assess the feasibility and conceptual designs for converting Monterey Road from a motor highway to a grand boulevard enjoyable and safe for all road users. The project will undertake planning, design, conceptual engineering, and environmental review to reconstruct the road and intersections as a complete street through the project area. The project is expected to include dedicated transit lanes, protected bike lanes, and urban greening.

$680,000 for a Caltrans Project in Oakland

The project will explore alternatives for reconnecting communities along the I-980 corridor with an expanded focus on community integration and environmental justice. The I-980 freeway divides disadvantaged communities in West Oakland from downtown Oakland and is a barrier to travel and economic opportunities between these communities.

$600,000 for the City of Fresno

The project will support planning activities for a pedestrian bridge that crosses California State Route 99 and connects Parkway Drive and Roeding Park, primarily serving the Jane Addams Neighborhood. Planning activities include a community participation plan, concept drawings, preliminary engineering, and environmental review.

More information about the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program is available here.


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