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$80 Million Grant Awarded For North Texas Highway Projects

Dallas and McKinney received the funding for pedestrian caps

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently announced $3.33 billion in grant awards through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs — $800 million was awarded to North Texas projects. 

The funding, a component of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, seeks to reestablish connections in communities that were previously divided by transportation infrastructure. These divisions left entire neighborhoods without direct access to essential resources such as schools, employment opportunities, medical facilities and places of worship.

Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities will build four pedestrian caps through the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The four primary components are three locations in Dallas. The first is Interstate Highway 30 pedestrian caps, which will install support structures for three pedestrian caps/parks to be constructed across the interstate. This infrastructure will align with the timing of TxDOT’s reconstruction of IH 30.  

Klyde Warren Park-Phase 2 will also receive funding, which will extend an existing pedestrian cap/deck park further south to create additional access and connections, as well as complete the community vision. The next project, Southern Gateway Park - Phase 2.0, will complete an initial pedestrian crossing to complete the plaza and connect two roadways to provide complete connections. 

The last project, State Highway 5 in McKinney, will be an inverted pedestrian cap that includes the construction of a bridge within the corridor and provides pedestrian access in the form of a below-bridge pedestrian plaza to reknit the community and address the highways’ damaging effects.

“All four highways capped by this project disrupted and displaced local communities, removed historical landmarks and resulted in unequal distribution of resources, leaving one side of the highway more prosperous while the others experienced disinvestment,” the project fact sheet reads. “North Texas highways in many cases were used to intentionally cut off access to daily needs. This project will address these historic inequities.”

These initiatives form part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits from specific Federal investments are directed towards disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized. The department gave priority to applications from communities demonstrating strong community engagement and stewardship to promote equity and environmental justice.

​​“While the purpose of transportation is to connect, in too many communities past infrastructure decisions have served instead to divide,” Buttigieg said in an official statement. “Now the Biden-Harris administration is acting to fix that.”