West Baltimore United - A Reconnecting Communities Planning Study

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About the Project

The Highway to Nowhere is a remnant of past efforts to connect Interstate 70 with Interstates 83 and 95 around Baltimore’s Central Business District. However, those highway connections were never completed. Ultimately, the strong community advocacy of the neighborhoods prevailed; but not before the West Baltimore section of Route 40 was constructed, thus earning the local moniker the "Highway to Nowhere." Construction resulted in the demolition of 971 homes and 62 businesses, subsequently displacing approximately 1,500 residents, many of whom were Black. Roughly 50 years later, the road remains a physical and symbolic barrier to progress, dividing large swaths of West Baltimore that were once connected. This 1.4-mile-long trench serves limited value to the transportation network, is a safety hazard with large grade separations and high-speed traffic, and is an eyesore dominating the landscape.

Baltimore City is seeking a federal grant through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program to help us advance overdue improvements in West Baltimore. If winning this grant succeeds, the planning study will assess existing conditions, opportunities, and constraints, including constructability, multimodal traffic circulation, market demand, and project financing. These are all more advanced planning elements beyond visioning and ideas collected in previous planning studies. This study will build from that foundation to identify and set in motion the following steps to finally deliver on those promises made.

The planning study will also establish a robust public engagement process to refine the overall vision and goals and establish performance measures for selecting a preferred concept that can be advanced into design and construction. We hope you stay involved and share your input as we progress.

To learn more about the new grant opportunity, visit this link: Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program – Planning Grants and Capital Construction Grants | US Department of Transportation


Grant Awarded

February 21, 2023 - The City of Baltimore receives $2 million in federal funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/news/press-releases/maryland-congressional-members-announce-2-million-in-federal-funding-to-move-forward-on-removal-of-highway-to-nowhere

Be sure to check out the many news stories about this exciting grant: https://streetsofbaltimore.com/reconnecting-communities-in-west-baltimore/widgets/55067/key_links.


For questions or additional information about the Highway to Nowhere, the Reconnecting Communities Planning Study, or the federal grant funding, contact us at DOT-Community@baltimorecity.gov.

About the Project

The Highway to Nowhere is a remnant of past efforts to connect Interstate 70 with Interstates 83 and 95 around Baltimore’s Central Business District. However, those highway connections were never completed. Ultimately, the strong community advocacy of the neighborhoods prevailed; but not before the West Baltimore section of Route 40 was constructed, thus earning the local moniker the "Highway to Nowhere." Construction resulted in the demolition of 971 homes and 62 businesses, subsequently displacing approximately 1,500 residents, many of whom were Black. Roughly 50 years later, the road remains a physical and symbolic barrier to progress, dividing large swaths of West Baltimore that were once connected. This 1.4-mile-long trench serves limited value to the transportation network, is a safety hazard with large grade separations and high-speed traffic, and is an eyesore dominating the landscape.

Baltimore City is seeking a federal grant through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program to help us advance overdue improvements in West Baltimore. If winning this grant succeeds, the planning study will assess existing conditions, opportunities, and constraints, including constructability, multimodal traffic circulation, market demand, and project financing. These are all more advanced planning elements beyond visioning and ideas collected in previous planning studies. This study will build from that foundation to identify and set in motion the following steps to finally deliver on those promises made.

The planning study will also establish a robust public engagement process to refine the overall vision and goals and establish performance measures for selecting a preferred concept that can be advanced into design and construction. We hope you stay involved and share your input as we progress.

To learn more about the new grant opportunity, visit this link: Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program – Planning Grants and Capital Construction Grants | US Department of Transportation


Grant Awarded

February 21, 2023 - The City of Baltimore receives $2 million in federal funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/news/press-releases/maryland-congressional-members-announce-2-million-in-federal-funding-to-move-forward-on-removal-of-highway-to-nowhere

Be sure to check out the many news stories about this exciting grant: https://streetsofbaltimore.com/reconnecting-communities-in-west-baltimore/widgets/55067/key_links.


For questions or additional information about the Highway to Nowhere, the Reconnecting Communities Planning Study, or the federal grant funding, contact us at DOT-Community@baltimorecity.gov.

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Project Area

about 1 year

Page last updated: 13 Sep 2023, 01:55 PM