TIGER II Grants Given to Highway Removal Projects

Two highway removal projects in the region got a boost of federal funds today.  USDOT announced that New Haven’s Route 34 and the South Bronx’s  Sheridan Expressway will receive $16 million and $1.5 million respectively to advance plans to convert these underutilized highway corridors into more walkable, vibrant, and viable communities.

The New Haven Register reports that New Haven’s award allows Phase 1 development along Route 34 to begin.  The transformation of Route 34 into an urban boulevard is expected to generate 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs with hundreds of millions of dollars in future private development.

A press release from South Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano confirms that the award will fund a study for a vision plan of the Sheridan Expressway and Hunts Point area.  The study aims to fill a gap in the NY State DOT’s review of the project alternatives, which currently avoid any discussion of land use or economic development that could occur with a removal of the expressway.

The Congressman is quoted in the release:

Meanwhile, the creation of a vision plan that addresses the current and future needs of our community in the Hunts Point area and the Sheridan Expressway is of vital importance. We are eager to remake this area into a livable, walkable and green section of our community, and this is the first step towards achieving that goal. I am encouraged that this grant specifically states that this ‘City-led, multi-agency, holistic planning process will be designed to respond to the needs and goals of the business and residential communities in the area.’ This is precisely the process that all planning in our borough must undergo as we work to right the development and planning wrongs of many decades.

The official announcement from Secretary LaHood will come next week.

Serrano’s release is available here.

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