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Grant will spur development, breathe new life into West Montgomery

The competitive grant program seeks to expand transportation options and enhance access to essential services.

Mayor Steven Reed
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New details about the City of Montgomery’s $36.6 million U.S. Department of Transportation’s Neighborhood Access and Equity grant were released Saturday by Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed. 

The competitive 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. 

The city will use this grant primarily in historic West Montgomery to reverse the persistent effects of segregation, redlining, and the construction of Interstates 65 and 85. It will enhance public open spaces, increase safety and access to public safety amenities, broadband connectivity, zero-emission transportation options, workforce transportation micro-transit, wayfinding enhancements, and investments in future development. 

Mayor Reed applied for this funding in September 2023 and worked closely with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to secure the award. It is the largest competitive federal grant ever presented to the city and the second-largest federal appropriation received by the city behind the $42 million it accepted through the American Rescue Plan Act. 

“I am pleased to announce that the City of Montgomery has received the largest competitive federal grant in our city’s history—$36.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed. “One of my first directives as mayor was to establish a City Grants Department to seek out more federal and philanthropic investments into our community. Ultimately, this transformative project aligns with our long-term plans for revitalizing Historic West Montgomery. Combined with other initiatives already being implemented, we are creating a safer, more accessible, and more connected neighborhood.” 

Work on the project will begin this fall. Once completed, it will notably improve mobility for all West Montgomery residents, particularly seniors at the City of St. Jude Senior Assisted Living facility, students at George Washington Carver Senior High School and local elementary schools, and the residents of Gibbs Village East and Gibbs Village West housing complexes. 

Key elements and infrastructure improvements within the project include: 

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  • 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. 

Mayor Reed would like to thank Representative Terri Sewell, the Department of Transportation Thriving Communities team, the African American Culture Heritage Action Fund, Alabama Historic Preservation Commission, the Conservation Fund, River Region Trails, the Tuskegee Agriculture Innovation Center, the Vantage Group, Alabama Power, and the City of Montgomery Grants Department for their work in making this project a reality for West Montgomery. 

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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