St. Paul Land Bridge Study Wins Federal Grant

A proposed land bridge that would reconnect the Rondo neighborhood is one of the dozens of projects to be awarded a Reconnecting Communities grant this week.

2 minute read

March 2, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A land bridge proposal in St. Paul could move forward after the project was awarded $2 million in a Reconnecting Communities grant, rpeorts Kyle Stokes in MinnPost. The 20-acre proposed freeway lid would span Interstate 94 and reconnect the Rondo neighborhood and reclaim space for housing, parks, and commercial space.

MinnPost interviewed Keith Baker, executive director of ReConnect Rondo, a nonprofit advocating for the land bridge, on the importance of the project. “Prior to the freeway going through, there was a social, cultural, economic, spiritual, civic fabric, that is about the culture of Rondo, and because people still live in Rondo, still have pride in Rondo, still have businesses in Rondo, still own homes in Rondo, still have spiritual connections to the institutions that remained in Rondo. Even though the freeway came through and dismantled these various aspects of the fabric, it can still be harnessed — but there’s not a drawstring to bring them together,” Baker explains.

If you leverage a transportation investment to do community-building — while the newly created structure, in and of itself, doesn’t create the kind of outcomes, it’s a catalytic mechanism that can create better outcomes.

More than just a land bridge, Baker says that capping the freeway “important, not only symbolically, but in a physical sense, to help us begin to think through how to heal community and understand what it could mean residually into the future.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in MinnPost

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