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McCollum Secures $5.2 Million for ReConnect Rondo As Part of House Democrats’ INVEST in America Act

July 1, 2021
Press Release
The INVEST in America Act will create good-paying jobs modernizing and rebuilding our roads, bridges, transit, rail, drinking water, and wastewater systems

Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) helped pass the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, which includes three critical projects in St. Paul: $5.2 million in federal funding for ReConnect Rondo, $6.9 million for the Rice Street Revitalization Project, and $7.5 million for the Kellogg-Third Street Bridge. The $715 billion INVEST in America Act makes transformational investments in America’s highways, roads, bridges, transit, rail, and water infrastructure to create jobs, modernize our infrastructure, ensure public safety, and reduce carbon pollution. 219 Democrats and two Republicans voted in favor of this bill, which is an important first step to realizing the vision President Biden and Vice President Harris have set for a major investment in modernizing America’s infrastructure. 

“Minnesotans have been waiting far too long for a major federal investment in the vital transportation infrastructure we all depend on every day, and with this bill, Democrats are delivering,” Rep. McCollum said. “By targeting funding for important projects in St. Paul like Rice Street and the Kellogg Bridge, I want to help our local government partners get started. And for St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, more than $5 million in funding will start the process of reconnecting Rondo with MnDOT and healing a historic injustice that divided one of America’s most vibrant Black communities with the construction of I-94. Democrats are leading with this federal funding from the INVEST in America Act to create opportunities for economic development and community revitalization. With this bill, we are on the right track to promote ReConnect Rondo’s vision for a brighter future and create economic opportunity for all in the 21st century and beyond.” 

“Our ability to fully invest in a sustainable, multimodal, and safe transportation system for future generations depends on federal support,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “We also know that we have work to do to repair the wrongs of the past and better serve our communities. The projects included in the INVEST in America Act will help MnDOT and our local partners deliver on these promises and we are grateful for the bipartisan support.” 

“Over the past year, the nation has developed a greater understanding of the harm done to Rondo, and more than 1200 other black communities across the country – but the question remains: how do we heal and, together, move forward?” asked Mary K. Boyd, descendent of Rondo and board member for ReConnect Rondo. “Here is our answer – with infrastructure funding, we can take a major step forward to build a bridge to better for future generations.” 

BACKGROUND: 

Congresswoman McCollum successfully secured funding for three Member-Designated Projects within the INVEST in America Act to benefit Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District:  

  • Reconnect Rondo, $5,200,000 - Funds to be used for planning phase to identify needs, issues and alternatives to determine critical elements, including equity in transportation outcomes (social, economic, environmental) allowing for important and necessary analysis and environmental screening; project management, area planning and design, project assessment, market research, financial evaluation, community outreach, restorative development modeling and redevelopment programming. 
  • Rice Street Revitalization Project, $6,864,000 - The project includes final design, environmental documentation and construction of Rice Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Wheelock Parkway, located in the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. The Rice Street revitalization project prioritizes improving the following: Safety, Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, traffic operations, and Environmental Justice. 
  • Kellogg-Third Street Bridge, $7,500,000 - The project will reconstruct the Third Street Bridge from Broadway St to Mounds Blvd. The construction project will cost approximately $70 million and involves demolition of the current structure and reconstruction of piers, abutments, beams, bridge deck, railings, parapets and approach roadways. The Third Street Bridge is the proposed route for Gold Line BRT as it enters downtown Saint Paul, en route to the Union Depot transportation hub. The City will coordinate with its regional partners to improve traffic signal and intersection accommodations for BRT as part of this project. 

Read more on how the INVEST in America Act would: 

Additional Resources on the INVEST in America Act 

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