Buttigieg Visits Birmingham to Talk Infrastructure

April 4, 2024
Secretary discussed plans to reconnect communities

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Birmingham this week to discuss federal funding to turn Fourth Avenue North from a one-way street into a two-way street to slow down traffic and restore a sense of community.

He also took a few moments to discuss Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore. The main spans of the bridge across the Patapsco River collapsed after its pier was struck by a container ship. Several road maintenance workers were killed.

“There continues to be shock and pain in Baltimore and around the whole country in the aftermath of the tragedy that took place one week ago yesterday,” Buttigieg said.

“We continue to mourn those construction workers that lost their lives. We’re going to work every day to deliver on President Biden’s promise that the administration will make sure Baltimore can recover.”

The construction of Interstate 65 in the 1960s and turning Fourth Avenue North into a one-way street disrupted community and created barriers that kept people apart, disproportionately affecting Black neighborhoods and the historic Black business district, he said.

“It would be foolish to characterize that as a coincidence,” Buttigieg said. “It’s about better infrastructure, and it’s about putting right things that have been done wrong in the past,” Buttigieg said.

The Birmingham City Council in August approved a grant application seeking funding from the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program. Buttigieg came to Birmingham in 2022 to announce the $1 billion federal program aimed at reconnecting communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.

The money will be used to convert Fourth Avenue North from a one-way street to a two-way street from 24th Street North to 9th Street North.


Source: ALnews.com

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