Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) jointly visited highway-divided neighborhoods in their respective cities today to highlight the $3 billion Reconnecting Communities bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Both Blunt Rochester and Evans led the visits and heard from leaders of the affected communities.
“My family moved to the City of Wilmington in 1969, just a few short years after the completion of I-95. The impact of the interstate cutting through the heart of the city was evident back then – and so many of the problems created or exacerbated by its construction persist to this day,” said Blunt Rochester. “I was proud to join Congressman Evans, Senator Carper, and so many local and community leaders from Wilmington and Philadelphia to discuss how the Reconnecting Communities Act could serve as a meaningful investment in reconnecting those neighborhoods that were torn apart by interstate construction. This bill will help our constituents in a number of areas, from environmental justice to our health, to strengthening our economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that whatever infrastructure package we pass includes this critical piece of legislation.”
In Wilmington, the members of Congress saw firsthand how I-95 cut through the city, followed by a roundtable discussion of state leaders.
A half-century ago, I-95 construction divided the once vibrant Browntown neighborhood in the city and led to a further flight to the suburbs. Later, I-495 was constructed and lessened the need for the route through the city.
Over the years, proposals have surfaced to cover portions of I-95 to allow connections to the city.
In Philadelphia, Blunt Rochester & Evans saw how the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) cut through Chinatown. A roundtable followed the tour.