WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) announced $900,000 for the City of Tucson for its Greenway and Bike and Pedestrian Bridge. The funding comes as part of the Biden administration’s new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and burdened by past transportation infrastructure decisions.
These federal funds will be used to support planning and design for a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-19, reconnecting a community that has experienced historic disconnection from educational and medical opportunities, and the community’s network of non-motorized trails and greenways. The project aims to support pre-construction tasks for the Airport Wash Greenway, while the major scope of the project is to construct a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-19 to Nebraska Street.
“Under Mayor Romero’s leadership, Tucson has created and invested in inclusive and sustainable transportation and infrastructure solutions,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I’m proud to support this project and advocate for federal funding that will advance racial equity and support underserved communities like those in southern Tucson.”
“The Atravesando Comunidades grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will reconnect our south side communities to services and economic opportunity,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “Thank you Congressman Grijalva for advocating for the Nebraska Road bicycle and pedestrian bridge. Projects like these are helping us address historical disinvestment. Today we are celebrating our efforts to bring more federal dollars home to Tucson.”
In the early 1960s, the social fabric of several diverse, largely Hispanic South Tucson Neighborhoods were severed by the construction of I-19. Residents who previously had direct access to the Santa Cruz River and strong connections to other parts of Tucson became isolated, trapped behind the walls of a freeway. With over a quarter of the population living in poverty, this has led to over 60 years of South Tucson residents being exposed to air and noise pollution and living in a food desert, while being cut-off from economic opportunity with especially limited bicycle and pedestrian access.