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USDOT Secretary Buttigieg Visits Alabama to Celebrate Investments that will Reconnect Communities

Secretary Pete Buttigieg joins Mayor Woodfin, Congresswoman Sewell, and local leaders on the walking tour of Birmingham's historic Black Main Street.
Secretary Pete Buttigieg joins Mayor Woodfin, Congresswoman Sewell, and local leaders on the walking tour of Birmingham's historic Black Main Street.
Buttigieg speaks at the press conference in Birmingham.
Buttigieg speaks at the press conference in Birmingham.
Buttigieg looks at robotic training equipment at Lawson State Community College.
Buttigieg looks at robotic training equipment at Lawson State Community College.
BIRMINGHAM, AL — As part of the Biden-Harris Administration's ongoing Investing in America Tour, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, to celebrate awards that will reshape and reconnect communities.

Buttigieg and USDOT recently announced $3.3 billion in funding from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act headed to over 130 different communities in 40 states. These projects (which are planned and led at the local level) will physically stitch communities back together by capping highways, adding new transit routes, adding sidewalks, bridges, bike lanes, and more — all to make it easier and safer to get from Point A to Point B.

Buttigieg began his tour to highlight these awards in Birmingham by joining Mayor Randall Woodfin and U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell for a walking tour along the historic 4th Street Black Business District, which will benefit from the $14.5 million investment from USDOT’s Reconnecting program.

Following the tour, the Secretary held a press conference with the other leaders to celebrate the award and share how the investments will reconnect downtown neighborhoods and businesses in Birmingham that were once a thriving community hub before being divided by the construction of Interstate 65 in the 1960s.

The Secretary then headed to Lawson State Community College, a school dedicated to increasing the presence of women in non-traditional occupations like manufacturing. At Lawson State, Buttigieg toured the training facility, met with instructors and students, and had the opportunity to try his hand at some robotic training equipment.

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Buttigieg also visited Montgomery, where he met with Mayor Steven Reed and visited the site that will benefit from a $36.6 million grant to help revitalize the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. The project will reconnect residents in West Montgomery to the rest of the community by improving access to public spaces, trails, and transportation options.

During the Secretary’s travel, USDOT shared a new step to help communities on their journey to reconnect. The department announced the award of a contract of up to $27 million to Cadmus Group, Inc. to establish and administer the Reconnecting Communities Institute, which will be USDOT’s center for learning on restoring and reconnecting communities that have been harmed, isolated, and cut off from opportunity by past transportation choices. The institute will assist communities in developing and delivering reconnection projects that better connect people to jobs, education, health care, and economic opportunities being created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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