Freeway Fighters Digest (week of 12/4)

Lauren MayerWeekly News Digest

Hi all,

Here is what is being said about freeway fighting. If you come across any articles, feel free to share and please let me know if you have any questions.

We’re starting to circulate for organizational signatures the Freeway Fighters Network Call for Action, calling on elected leaders across the country to adopt a moratorium on expanding highways and instead fund transportation priorities in four categories (Fix It First, Safety Over Speed, Make Transit Work, and Reconnect Communities).

Your organization can sign on here and we’ll have the form open through January 31st, 2024, with the plan to have a coalition letter ready for the announcement of Reconnecting Communities awards in February.

Freeway Fighters News

What is Detroit’s role in the state’s I-375 removal project? – WDET 101.9 FM
WDET December 2, 2023
In this week’s episode of Detroit Today‘s mini series, Reckoning 375, we take a deeper look at the restorative efforts behind Michigan Department of Transportation’s planned “I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project,” which aims to replace the aging freeway with a boulevard and reconnect the surrounding neighborhoods cut off by its initial construction.

$1.5 billion now available in federal transportation grants – Route Fifty
Route Fifty December 2, 2023
State and local governments could get a slice of up to $1.5 billion to complete critical freight and passenger transportation infrastructure projects, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

Residents outraged over state’s massive, controversial highway expansion – Yahoo News
Yahoo News December 2, 2023
This past April, the Missouri House of Representatives passed Governor Mike Parson’s $859 million plan to expand portions of Interstate 70 near Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis.

Mammoth $2-billion 405 project marks an end to Southland’s big freeway era
Los Angeles Times December 2, 2023
The opening of new express lanes on the 405 Freeway in northwest Orange County on Friday marked the final step of a massive $2.16-billion highway improvement project.

A Black Neighborhood, Upended by a Highway, Looks to Reconnect – Zocalo Public Square
Zocalo Public Square December 4, 2023
How do you remember—and reconnect—a neighborhood destroyed by highway construction over a half-century ago?

Downtown El Paso I-10 expansion project labeled among nation’s worst ‘boondoggles
El Paso Times December 5, 2023
The Interstate 10 expansion project through Downtown El Paso is gaining recognition, but it’s likely not the kind advocates would hope for.

Redeveloping Detroit’s I-375 has plusses and minuses –
Construction Connect Canada – ConstructConnect December 6, 2023
It’s called “reconnecting” two distinct communities.

Akron releases report, recommendations on next steps for decommissioned Innerbelt
Ideastream December 6, 2023
Akron has released a report and recommendations on the history and future of the Innerbelt.

Reckoning with the mistakes of the past: Akron seeks path forward for failed Innerbelt
Akron Beacon Journal December 6, 2023
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan released a report on Monday making recommendations for the future of the Innerbelt and apologized for the project’s historical failures.

I-45 construction project set to begin in 2024 faces uncertainty – Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle December 6, 2023
For anyone who has tracked the last 15 years of discussion about rebuilding Interstate 45 north of downtown Houston, the project’s progress is similar to a rush hour commute along the freeway.  

Michigan Considers the Removal Of Another Interstate From the State Highway System – WGRD
WGRD December 6, 2023
Michigan’s Department of Transportation is studying the removal of another interstate from the state’s highway system.

TxDOT holds public meetings about big changes to I-45 through downtown Houston
ABC13 December 7, 2023
After years of debate, the Texas Department of Transportation’s freeway expansion of I-45 North expansion is moving forward, and the state agency is holding meetings to discuss its plans.

I-526 expansion moves ahead amidst increased flooding – Charleston City Paper
Charleston City Paper December 7, 2023
Against a backdrop of growing flood risk, a committee of state lawmakers on Dec. 5 unleashed $75 million to the State Infrastructure Bank to fund the first phase of the controversial Interstate 526 extension.

Coalition wants downtown Indy interstates rebuilt below street level | Fox 59
Fox 59 December 8, 2023
A local organization is putting forward a bold, new plan to dramatically overhaul the interstates around downtown Indianapolis.

$10 Billion I-45 Expansion in Houston Faces Public Debate Amidst – Hoodline
Hoodline December 8, 2023
The Texas Department of Transportation is gearing up for a massive Interstate 45 $10 billion-plus project set to start in 2024. 

Residents Question Fresno Freeway Project | Planetizen News
Planetizen December 8, 2023
An investigation by Fresnoland found that California’s state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) failed to fully assess the public health impacts of a massive freeway project in Fresno, reports Gregory Weaver.

Milwaukee developer talks affordable housing and mass timber – The Daily Reporter
The Daily Reporter December 8, 2023
Tim Gokhman, head of Milwaukee-based developer New Land Enterprises, shared his views on affordable housing, the city’s desire to grow to 1 million people and removing the Interstate 794 highway in downtown Milwaukee last week at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon.