Joe Biden

ICYMI: As Part of his Investing in America Agenda, President Biden Makes Historic Announcements to Reconnect and Rebuild Communities Across the Country

March 15, 2024

This week, on the heels of President Biden's State of the Union address, the Biden-Harris Administration underscored the President's commitment to reconnecting and revitalizing communities that have been left behind, creating good-paying jobs, and improving the health and safety of families across the country. As part of his Investing in America agenda, President Biden is building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down – that means investing in all of America to make sure everyone has a fair shot and to ensure a comeback story for thousands of communities.

On Tuesday, as part of the President's vision to cut harmful pollution in disadvantaged communities, create good-paying jobs, and rebuild our freight infrastructure, the Administration designated a national network of freight EV corridors and released a first-of-its kind roadmap for building clean fueling infrastructure for freight trucks. The Administration also announced $450 million to upgrade infrastructure, reduce emissions, and improve operations at U.S. ports. On Wednesday, President Biden traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to announce $3.3 billion to reconnect and rebuild communities, including those that were divided by transportation infrastructure decades ago. Finally, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen traveled to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to visit an EV-battery component manufacturing facility that will onshore supply chains and create good-paying jobs - showing how the President's Investing in America agenda is creating new economic opportunity.

Read Coverage Below:

Reconnecting Communities Announcement:

The Washington Post: Biden aims to repair places left broken by previous economic strategies
[David J. Lynch and Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., 3/13/2024]

President Biden, speaking Wednesday in a community that he cited as a painful example of racist urban policy, highlighted a new economic strategy aimed at revitalizing places that for decades have been cut off from the nation's growing prosperity. Biden spoke at a Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee in a largely Black and Latino neighborhood where 17,000 homes and 1,000 businesses were destroyed in the 1960s to make way for an interstate highway.

USA Today: Takeaways from President Joe Biden's trip to Milwaukee
[Hope Karnopp, 3/14/24]

Wednesday marks Biden's second visit to Wisconsin after a trip to the border city of Superior in January. On Thursday, Biden will head to Saginaw, Michigan, after staying overnight in Milwaukee. During his visit, Biden highlighted $36.6 million in federal funds being allocated from the Infrastructure Act for a project to convert a 2.6-mile section of Sixth Street to a "complete street."

CNN: Biden announces $3 billion project to restore communities split by highways as he continues campaign blitz
[Michael Williams and Samantha Waldenberg, 3/13/24]

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced $3 billion in funding meant to help reconnect communities split by highways and other infrastructure projects decades ago as he continues his post-State of the Union campaign blitz in several crucial battleground states.

The Guardian: Biden pledges billions to rebuild cities 'torn apart' by highways decades ago
[Maya Yang & Joanna Walters, 3/3/24]

Joe Biden hailed the beginning of $3.3bn in infrastructure spending on US projects on Wednesday "to right historic wrongs" with efforts to reconnect city neighborhoods riven by interstate highways that plowed with particular impunity through many Black, brown, Asian American and Hispanic communities decades ago.

FOX: President Biden visits Milwaukee, 6th Street project funding announced
[Sam Kraemer, 3/13/24]

In Milwaukee, President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced $36 million in grant funding for city infrastructure projects aimed at reconnecting communities. Roughly $14 million per mile will go to redesigning the 6th Street Corridor from North Avenue to National Avenue – widening sidewalks, adding landscaping and installing dedicated bike and bus lanes. "Infrastructure investments and connectivity always help with growing the city," Biden said Wednesday, speaking at a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee location on 6th Street.

CBS: Biden promotes $36 million to transform Milwaukee's 6th Street
[Emilee Fannon, 3/13/24]

President Joe Biden returned to Wisconsin pitching his $3.3 billion infrastructure plan which includes tens of millions to help rebuild a major street in Milwaukee. At the Boys and Girls Club downtown, President Biden touted a $36 million investment to improve Milwaukee's 6th street. The grant is from the Biden administration's Reconnecting Communities program and it will help rebuild a 2.6-mile stretch of 6th Street between North and National Avenues.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: President Joe Biden makes visit to Milwaukee to promote street project
[Hope Karnopp, Jovanny Hernandez, 3/13/24]

During his visit, he spoke at the Pieper-Hillside Boys & Girls Club, at the corner of North Sixth Street and West Cherry Street, promoting a $36.6 million allocation for a project to convert a 2.6-mile section of Sixth Street to a "complete street." It's part of a broader $3.3 billion initiative he announced that's intended to help "reconnect and rebuild communities" across that nation that were divided by transportation infrastructure in the past. Biden lamented the effects of interstate infrastructure of decades ago, splitting predominantly Black neighborhoods where Biden grew up.

Wisconsin Examiner: Biden in Milwaukee highlights infrastructure investment to fix 'divided communities'
[Eric Gunn, 3/13/24]

With his visit to Milwaukee Wednesday, President Joe Biden sought to bring together complementary issues his administration has highlighted — rebuilding infrastructure and addressing systemic wrongs that have dislocated urban and low-income communities. The White House announced $3.3 billion in grants to 42 states under the federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant program. Among the targets of the funds are places "that were divided by transportation infrastructure decades ago and have long been overlooked," according to a White House fact sheet.

Spectrum News: President Biden unveils $3.3B to reconnect communities
[Anthony Dabruzzi, 3/13/24]

$3.3 billion is how much the Biden-Harris administration is putting towards reconnecting and rebuilding communities across the country with 132 projects in more than 40 states, including in Wisconsin. "Investing in all America and all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot where we leave nobody behind," President Biden said. "Look, our plan is working, and America is coming back. That's America—that's what this project is all about. Projects for jobs and justice, prosperity, and unlimited possibilities."

UPI: Biden to tout new $3.3 billion infrastructure plan in Milwaukee
[Clyde Hughes, 3/13/24]

"Highways and rail lines have disproportionately torn through Black and other communities of color and low-income communities, displacing residents and businesses, stifling economic development and cutting communities off from essentials such as groceries, jobs, transportation and healthcare," the White House said in a statement. While in Milwaukee, Biden will announce $36 million for the 6th Street Complete Streets Project which aims to provide wider sidewalks, safer bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes and other changes to 6th street after it was widened following the construction of I-94/I-43 in the 1960s.

Houston Chronicle: Gulfton, Kashmere Gardens get $43.4M for sidewalk, drainage work
[Dug Begley, 3/13/24]

The walk to catch a Long Point-Cavalcade bus in Kashmere Gardens, or to school at Baker Ripley in Gulfton, will soon be safer and smoother, after federal officials committed $43.4 million to sidewalk, drainage and shade improvements in the long-neglected neighborhoods. Tom Perez, senior adviser for intergovernmental affairs to President Joe Biden, said those who view these projects as a loss of a vehicle lane or money that could spent on more roads need to go see how successful previous programs have been. "It is going to open up opportunities," Perez said, noting bridges in Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., where bike lanes either have been installed or will be part of upcoming work. "It is a bit of a false choice when you say you are taking from one to give to another."

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Pedestrian-cyclist tunnels under railroad tracks could save lives, connect neighborhoods
[David Lyons, 3/14/24]

Some day, bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to cross the Florida East Coast Railway corridor in Fort Lauderdale without risking life and limb. And the Black and white communities historically divided by the tracks might get a little closer." We had historic investments in infrastructure in the '60s, but a legacy of discrimination was a major part of those infrastructure investments," Tom Perez, senior adviser to Biden, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a telephone interview. "In pursuit of getting to places faster, they cut right through communities. This is really about investing in reconnecting and rebuilding communities large and small."

CBS Milwaukee: CBS Milwaukee Evening News

A.J. Bayatpour: Overhauling 6th street is one of nine major projects in Milwaukee's 2040 master plan for downtown. The city will use the federal funds to narrow sixth street, extend the sidewalks and build designated lanes for bikes and buses. Just in time for the president's visit are these new signs along 6th street. This is at 6th and McKinley, saying the project is funded by president Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. I talked to Tom Perez, a senior advisor to the President, and asked if this particular project is an election year strategy. he insists this is not politically-driven, but rather, part of a broader effort to undo historic discrimination.

Tom Perez: You know the old saying, 'the other side of the tracks'? That's what happens when you build the interstate right through communities.

CBS Streaming: Biden announces $3.3 billion investment in reconnecting communities split by highways
Steve Benjamin: "I'm a former mayor. I remember coming to Washington every other month for Infrastructure Week, and President Biden has committed to an infrastructure decade. The $1.2T infrastructure bill has really changed infrastructure across the country, almost 50,000 projects in every state of the union. And this particular project, we're talking about something that happened 60 years ago, highways cutting through Black and Brown communities all across this country to try and put President Eisenhower's vision for infrastructure in place, connecting people from suburbs to downtown. It was time to right those wrongs, and President Biden has made it a priority."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: $200 million in federal grants for Atlanta boost The Stitch, Flint River Trail
[David Wickert, 3/12/24]

A U.S. Department of Transportation grant would provide $157.6 million for the construction of The Stitch – a planned 14-acre greenspace over the Downtown Connector. he U.S. Department of Transportation grant would provide $157.6 million for the construction of The Stitch — a planned 14-acre greenspace over the Downtown Connector. It's one of several projects that seek to reconnect Atlanta neighborhoods cut off by construction of interstate highways. Another federal grant announced Tuesday would provide $50 million to connect the Atlanta Beltline's Southside Trail to the Flint River Trail.

WSB-AM (Atlanta, GA): Over $200 million promised to reconnect Atlanta communities with 'The Stitch': Ga. lawmakers say

Decades after the U.S. interstate system cut through part of downtown Atlanta and split the community in the area around West Peachtree Street to Cortland Street, federal lawmakers from Georgia announced new funding to help reconnect those neighborhoods. "I thank President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Buttigieg, and Assistant Secretary Coes for their support as we lead Georgia forward, and I commend the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission, Macon-Bibb County, Athens-Clarke County, and City of Savannah for their successful work bidding for these major awards," Ossoff said, discussing the newly awarded funds.

Axios Atlanta: Feds award $157 million towards project to reconnect Atlanta neighborhoods
[Kristal Dixon, 3/13/24]

Atlanta's dream of building a deck park to reconnect neighborhoods sliced apart by the Downtown Connector looks closer after receiving $157.6 million in federal funding. The funding, which comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant program, was announced Tuesday by the offices of Rep. Nikema Williams and Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Vine Street Expressway capping project gets $158 million grant
[Jeff Gammage, 3/11/24]

The effort to build the Chinatown Stitch, which aims to reconnect a severed neighborhood by capping part of the Vine Street Expressway, took a giant leap forward on Monday with the award of a $158 million federal grant. The money comes through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Reconnecting Communities Pilot grant program, billed as the first federal program dedicated to rejoining communities that were cut off from economic opportunities or otherwise hurt by past transportation and infrastructure decisions.

The Lane Report: Frankfort, Bowling Green get $31.8M in grants to restore corridors
[Staff, 3/13/24]

Today, President Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $31,185,000 for two Kentucky for projects through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs to restore disconnected areas as part of President Biden's Investing in America Agenda. The Biden-Harris Administration is taking historic action to deliver for communities that have been left behind for too long. Thanks to additional funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, this investment is 18 times larger than the investments from the previous year's standalone Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. Both programs are part of the President's Justice40 Initiative.

Finger Lakes Daily News: I-81 Viaduct Project Awarded $180M in Federal Funds
[Lucas Day, 3/14/24]

An award of $180 million under the federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant is heading to the city of Syracuse for the I-81 viaduct project. The grant, submitted by State Department of Transportation in partnership with the City of Syracuse and made possible through the federal Inflation Reduction Act, will create new and enhanced destinations for Syracuse residents and visitors to enjoy, while incorporating complete streets elements along the state and local road network on or adjacent to the community grid.

Alabama Daily News: Biden administration awards $97.3M for Alabama reconnection projects
[Stuart Dyos, 3/14/24]

Five Alabama communities will receive $97.3 million in federal transportation grants, the Biden administration announced Wednesday. The funding is meant to help reconnect communities that were cut off by transportation infrastructure decades ago, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release. The money comes from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs, both of which are part of Biden's Justice40 Initiative.

ABC News Texas: Feds grant $80 million for highway projects in North Texas
[Briahn Hawkins, 3/13/24]

White House officials have announced a multi-billion-dollar project that's meant to help disadvantaged communities. That project includes exactly $80 million for North Texas. According to a news release, a total of $3.3 billion dollars are going to communities in 41 states and Washington, DC. The goal is to reconnect over 130 communities that were previously cut off by transportation infrastructure. North Texas' cut of the money is for Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities. The project will build pedestrian "caps" for four highways in the area.

LA Opinion: Plan de Biden de $3,300 millones en infraestructura beneficiará a latinos: mejor conectividad y más empleos
[Jesús García, 3/3/24]

Comunidades con alta población latina serán beneficiadas con el plan de inversiones de $3,300 millones de dólares anunciado por el gobierno del presidente Joe Biden para 132 comunidades. "We are going to build bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, [plant] trees to provide shade, and green infrastructure to improve the community," Pérez said. "Tucson is an example of the challenges in Latino communities."

Zero Emission Freight Infrastructure:

Bloomberg: Biden Electric Vehicle Charging Plan Includes Long-Haul Trucking
[Jennifer Dlouhy, 3/12/24]

The Biden administration is rolling out its plan for deploying electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure on the nation's freight corridors — part of a bid to decarbonize US supply chains and accelerate the adoption of emission-free big rigs. The road map released Tuesday is designed to focus what could be billions of dollars of public spending along key roadways and to catalyze private investment in the new infrastructure, which is critical to cleaning up diesel pollution from medium- and heavy-freight vehicles.

E&E News: Biden admin releases first-ever plan for EV freight truck charging
[Jack Quinn, 3/13/24]

The Biden administration unveiled a first-of-a-kind road map Tuesday for building electric charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure for freight trucks by 2040, accelerating its push to decarbonize a major source of transportation greenhouse gas emissions. "These new [corridor] designations and Strategy will help to grow our national EV charging network, encourage clean commerce within the freight community, and support President [Joe] Biden's goals of achieving net-zero emissions for the nation by 2050," said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt in a statement.

Electrek: Biden admin debuts infrastructure plan to electrify nation's trucks by 2040
[Jameson Dow, 3/12/24]

The Biden Administration has released the first-ever strategy document detailing its plan to target specific freight corridors for infrastructure improvement, with the intent of helping to reach its goal of 100% zero-emission new truck sales by 2040. Heavy duty vehicles have a disproportionate effect on pollution, as large diesel engines release many more particulate emissions than light-duty vehicles do. These vehicles tend to drive along specific routes, and those routes often go through poorer communities, with 75% of truck traffic traveling on just 4% of the nation's roads.

Axios: Biden targets freight emissions in infrastructure push
[Ben German, 3/13/24]

The Biden administration has unveiled a detailed road map to help spur build-out of charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure for big trucks. Diesel-powered freight movement is a big source of carbon dioxide, and dangerous air pollutants like fine particulate matter. Yet lack of infrastructure to support electric and hydrogen models is a barrier to deployment.

The Hill: Biden administration wants to put electric truck chargers in high-traffic 'corridors' under new plan
[Rachel Frazin, 3/12/24]

The Biden administration is looking to place charging infrastructure for electric freight trucks in high-traffic corridors, under a new plan it released on Tuesday. The plan calls for electric freight truck chargers to be deployed initially along key stretches of highways. This includes parts of I-95 in the Northeast, sections of I-5 in California and another section in Washington and Oregon, as well as I-80 between the East Coast and Illinois and along several highways in Texas.

Freight Waves: Biden administration rolls out power grid plan for electric trucks
[John Gallagher, 3/12/24]

The Biden administration has selected 12,000 miles of freight-heavy interstates and the country's largest container ports to begin a 16-year plan to deploy battery-charging and hydrogen-refueling stations for electric trucks. The four-phase National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, unveiled Tuesday, initially targets local and regional "return-to-base" trucking operations, first- and last-mile delivery, and port drayage while gradually accommodating long-haul trucking.

Spectrum News: Major freight corridors will be prioritized for EV chargers, hydrogen stations
[Susan Carpenter, 3/13/24]

As zero-emission trucks begin to roll out across the country, the federal government is laying the groundwork for a future where most freight is moved with electric vehicles instead of those that run on diesel. This week, the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation introduced its national zero-emission freight corridor strategy to identify and electrify major cargo roadways throughout the U.S.

Secretary Yellen Visit to Kentucky:

Louisville Public Media: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visits Kentucky to celebrate clean energy factory
[Giselle Rhoden, 3/13/24]

Janet Yellen joined Gov. Andy Beshear and business executives to cut the ribbon at Advanced Nano Products, in Elizabethtown Wednesday. ANP is a global supplier of carbon batteries and other products used to make electric vehicles. Upon opening, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said the factory will bring 93 jobs to Hardin County. Employees are expected to make $40 an hour and get health benefits. The plant and other clean energy sites got funding from the Biden Administration's Inflation Reduction Act, Yellen said Wednesday.

Spectrum News: U.S. Treasury Secretary tours nanotechnology facility in Hardin County
[Khyati Patel, 3/14/24]

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen along with Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Ky., and officials from South Korea toured a nanotechnology parts-making facility on Wednesday, March 13, in Elizabethtown. Yellen said the $50 million investment will expand America's economy to produce and create more jobs. "For too long, opportunity in America has been too concentrated on the coasts and in wealthier communities. Good schools and good jobs haven't been evenly distributed," Yellen said.

Energy World: Yellen says Biden tax credits boost clean energy investment in coal country
[Reuters, 3/14/24]

Yellen's visit is aimed at highlighting the growing EV investments in the state. So far this year, she has promoted Biden's economic agenda in Michigan, Illinois. She told Elizabethtown-area business leaders that the clean energy economy "is at the heart of our economic agenda" and the administration's incentives would fuel private investments that will build 21st century industries including EVs, green energy and semiconductors."

Reuters: Yellen says US aims to ensure domestic EV maker success as China boosts exports
[David Lawder, 3/13/24]

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said President Joe Biden's administration is taking steps to ensure success of the domestic electric vehicle (EV) industry in the face of China's growing exports in the sector and heavy government subsidies. Asked whether the United States needs new tariffs on Chinese EVs, Yellen told reporters at a new battery materials plant in Kentucky: "I don't want to get ahead of where we are, but it is a commitment that President Biden has made ... that we're going to want our domestic industry to be successful."

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: As Part of his Investing in America Agenda, President Biden Makes Historic Announcements to Reconnect and Rebuild Communities Across the Country Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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