Walz, McCollum Celebrate First-Ever Funding Program Dedicated to Reconnecting Communities
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation announcement to invest $1 billion in reconnecting communities across the country that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.
“Here in Minnesota, we know that when St. Paul thrives, the Range thrives. When Minneapolis thrives, Mankato thrives,” said Governor Walz. “The Reconnecting Communities program is a historic investment toward helping neighborhoods access jobs, schools, and the resources that help communities rebuild and expand.”
“Reconnecting communities means making it easier to get to work and more affordable for people to live where they want to live,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “This program helps build equity into our transportation infrastructure and works to heal communities that were physically divided by past infrastructure choices like Rondo in St. Paul. I’m grateful for this opportunity to think about transportation that benefits everyone.”
“Saint Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood remains strong and resilient, despite being dismantled and divided decades ago by I-94. The future of Rondo is now about investing in healing, reconnecting, and boosting economic opportunity, and I am 100% committed to the Reconnect Rondo community vision,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum. “While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already making a huge impact in communities across the nation, it’s time to deliver for Rondo. We remember the past, and recommit to healing the wounds of systemic racism as we look ahead toward the future – when Rondo will once again be connected and united as a great American neighborhood.”
The $1 billion Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, created as part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is the first-ever federal program to have funding dedicated solely to reconnection efforts. Reconnecting a community could mean adapting existing infrastructure to better connect neighborhoods to opportunities or better means of access.