Caltrans, Oakland studying ways to reconnect communities divided by Interstate 980

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California Construction News staff writer

Caltrans and the City of Oakland have been awarded $680,000 to find ways to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure along Interstate 980. The project is one of five in California to receive a first-of-its-kind Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grant as part of the federal infrastructure investment and jobs act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The I-980 corridor, completed in 1985, divides disadvantaged communities in West Oakland from downtown Oakland and is a barrier to travel and economic opportunities between these communities.

“We are excited to see five California projects receive funding as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s first reconnecting communities pilot project grant awards, including this project in Oakland,” said Toks Omishakin, California State Transportation Agency Secretary.

“These awards, coupled with the forthcoming $150 million state investment for a parallel Highways to Boulevards pilot program, will allow California neighborhoods divided by transportation infrastructure – particularly communities of color – to take steps to remove literal barriers to opportunity and begin making up for past harms.”

“Reconnecting communities divided by transportation infrastructure is a historic step toward addressing injustices that tore apart neighborhoods, especially in communities of color,” said Tony Tavares, Caltrans director. “This is another example of how historic levels of federal and state transportation infrastructure funding is directly benefiting communities throughout California.”

Other California projects receiving funding include:

  • $30 million for the City of Long Beach to reconfigure West Shoreline Drive to remove a roadway barrier and improve access and connectivity between Downtown Long Beach and public open space.
  • $2 million for the City of Pasadena to support the study of transportation and land use needs related to the future redevelopment of the I-710 “northern stub” that was recently transferred to the city.
  • $2 million for the City of San Jose to assess the feasibility and conceptual designs for converting Monterey Road from a highway to a “complete street” safe for all road users.
  • $600,000 for the City of Fresno to support planning activities for a pedestrian bridge that crosses State Route 99 and connects Parkway Drive and Roeding Park, primarily serving the Jane Addams Neighborhood.

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