We have learned that the City of Minneapolis does not intend to apply for a Reconnecting Communities grant to study the Twin Cities Boulevard.
This decision was made by Mayor Frey and Public Works leadership, specifically Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Transportation Planning and Program Director Jeni Hager.
A Reconnecting Communities planning grant is a critical opportunity to study the Twin Cities Boulevard and evaluate solutions for the Rethinking I-94 project that fully repair the highway’s harms and improve the health and well-being of the people who live, work and go to school in the 7.5 mile project corridor.
While a joint workgroup was created to evaluate a potential application, Minneapolis Public Works will not apply this year, saying that they may consider applying in future years. While the Reconnecting Communities program will award grants over each of the next five years, it is critical that an application is submitted this year, before the October 13 deadline, to align with MnDOT’s Rethinking I-94 project timeline. MnDOT is currently designing project alternatives and will reveal them this winter. A planning grant that is submitted next year, which they have also not committed to, wouldn’t be funded until 2024 at the earliest, and MnDOT will have likely already moved forward in the alternative selection process.
This decision by Mayor Frey and Public Works leadership fails the people of Minneapolis. It was made with no public transparency and it ignores the hundreds of community members who have contacted the City and ask them to take advantage of this opportunity. It also ignores the health and well-being of the tens of thousands of Minneapolis residents who experience the highway’s harms daily. Federal funding was available to help repair these harms, but Mayor Frey and Public Works leadership decided that applying was not worth their time.
There is still time for Minneapolis and Saint Paul to apply before the October 13 deadline.
Take action by calling the offices of Mayor Frey & Public Works leaders and by sending an email to decision makers.
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: 612-673-2100
- Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher: 612-673-3071
- Planning & Programming Director Jeni Hager: 612-673-3625
Contact the office of Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter by calling 651-266-8510 or by sending an email to Melvin.Carter@ci.stpaul.mn.us