Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced on Aug. 12, that millions from Biden’s new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would be used in Phoenix, aiming to connect communities and promote sustainable transportation.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Buttigieg said that the $25 million of the $75.3 million of the RAISE grant would be focused on the Reimagined 3rd Street Bicycle-Pedestrian project, which would span across the Rio Salado River.
Buttigieg said that investments into transportation are becoming more and more important as Phoenix grows. “The project will connect the underserved South Phoenix community – a majority-minority area where one-fifth of households lack access to a car – to education and employment opportunities in downtown Phoenix,” according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Not only will the bridge promote bringing the valley together, but it will promote pedestrian traffic to the South Central Light Rail Extension, which will complete in 2024. And will stimulate recreation and exercise with its proximity to the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area.
In addition, “We’re also making safety a priority and making sure we have safe zones to improve walkways and bikeways,” Gallego said. During night-hours, there will be solar powered-LED lights that illuminate the pavement ensuring the safety of pedestrians and will add lights to the existing Rio Salado Pathway.
“This project unites multiple cities and tribal leaders, and it really is a project that brings together so many communities,” said Gallego. The bridge project will now open more doors to expand and improve transportation into neighboring Native American Reservations, with the $50 million left in the RAISE grant.