Money from Biden’s Infrastructure Law to reconnect Philadelphia’s Chinatown

Philadelphia, PA - September 18: The Chinatown Friendship Gate greets visitors to Philadelphias Chinatown. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

March 12, 2024

Philadelphia is set to receive $159 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build a public park over the Vine Street Expressway and reconnect Chinatown. 

Close to $159 million in federal funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to right a historical wrong in the city of Philadelphia and reconnect Chinatown by covering the Vine Street Expressway with a public park. 

The Vine Street Expressway, which cuts the historic neighborhood in half, was constructed in the 1980s and is a prime example of how infrastructure projects destroyed disadvantaged communities. 

“After we passed the infrastructure law, I worked to help Philadelphia right historical wrongs by bridging the gap that divided Chinatown residents from economic opportunities and from each other,” US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania)  said in a statement. 

“Decades after Chinatown residents suffered the consequences of harmful infrastructure decisions that divided their neighborhood in half, I am proud to say that we are another step closer to connecting this community, which includes creating a new park for all Philadelphians to enjoy.”

Casey and Congressmen Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) and Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) announced on Monday they secured $158.9 million from the Reconnecting Communities Pilot program, which was created by the infrastructure law, to build a public park over the expressway, include traffic calming measures and a connection to the Rail Park on the Reading viaduct. 

“For far too long, the construction of the Vine Street expressway created barriers to mobility and economic opportunity for the Chinatown community,” Boyle said in a statement.

“I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that included the Reconnecting Communities Act to work toward finding a solution to that problem. I am pleased to see those investments now arriving here in Philadelphia. This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help repair the division of Chinatown as we engage in a historic rebuilding of American infrastructure in the City of Philadelphia.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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