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Montgomery mayor, U.S. Transportation Secretary discuss Capitol City revitalization efforts


U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed are discussing revitalization efforts in the Capitol City. The two recently toured some of the West Montgomery sites where the city is investing $36.6 million in federal grant money.

The finding is from the Neighborhood Access and Equity grant, awarded to the city by the U.S. Department of Transportation in March 2024. It is the largest competitive federal grant ever presented to the city.

The Neighborhood Access and Equity grant program seeks to expand transportation options and enhance access to essential services like jobs, education, healthcare, food and recreation. Funding for the program was allocated in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

“I am grateful that Secretary Buttigieg was able to add a visit to Montgomery during his visit,” said Mayor Reed in a statement. “Under President Biden and the Secretary’s direction, the Department of Transportation has made a historic investment into West Montgomery that has the potential to reshape and revitalize an area of town that has largely been ignored since 1965. I have really enjoyed getting to know Secretary Buttigieg over the last few years and I am thankful for his leadership.”

Key elements and infrastructure improvements within the project include:

  • Redeveloping a local brownfield site into an EV charging station and microgrid.
  • Repaving, striping, adding a bike lane, and landscaping on West Fairview Avenue from the Interstate 65 underpass to the Mobile Highway intersection and Highway 80.
  • Establishing an EV Workforce Micro-Transit site and workforce training hub to provide consistent routes to Hyundai, the Inland Port, downtown, the Lagoon Park Industrial Park, hospitals, and other high-demand employers.
  • Adding intelligent technologies such as smart lighting, CC cameras, and Wi-Fi hotspots along Mobile Street, South Holt Street, West Fred Gray Avenue, Oak Street, and West Fairview Avenue.
  • Laying down an extensive fiber optic infrastructure.
  • Upgrading bus stops and covered shelters.
  • Enhancing navigation with more historic markers and wayfinding kiosks.
  • Creating more than 2 miles of sidewalks.

Read more about the $36.6 million funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Neighborhood Access and Equity grant and how it's being used in Montgomery here.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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