With the awarding of its first government funding to demolish a road designed to sustain racial discrimination, the Biden administration is rounding off the president’s recent visit to Michigan, which was mostly focused on worker rights and transportation innovation.
The action is a part of the Biden administration and its larger initiative to redesign America’s infrastructure in a fairer way, which also includes correcting racist roadways that were built to encourage white flight and deny Black people access to housing and business opportunities.
I-375, the highway that divides Detroit’s Black Bottom neighbourhood and Paradise Valley, the city’s epicentre of Black business, will be demolished using $104.6 million in federal funds from last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
The money is being given to Detroit as a part of a $1.5 billion grant programme for states to advance important projects called Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, or INFRA.
Buttigieg described the Detroit roadway to the AP as “cutting like a gash across the neighbourhood, one of many examples I have seen in neighbourhoods around the country where a piece of infrastructure has become a barrier.”
With the help of this money, he said, “we’re now working with the government and the neighbourhood to make it a route that will unite rather than divide.
Millions more were included in the Biden administration announcement on Thursday for various projects in Arizona, Colorado, New York, and other states throughout the nation. The large sum required to rebuild Black Bottom and its neighbourhood demonstrates how detrimental America’s racial infrastructure has been. And it’s an indication that far more money will be required to solve the issue on a national scale.