West Baltimore United: A Plan to Reconnect Communities

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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 was awarded a federal grant through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program to help us advance overdue improvements in West Baltimore. 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.

January 2024 Community Workshops

For over 50 years the “Highway to Nowhere” divided West Baltimore. Now, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration, is coordinating the West Baltimore United Planning project that will set the communities of West Baltimore on a path to a brighter future. We are excited about this opportunity to come together and dialogue about what you want the future to look like in this corridor. Two meetings are scheduled for your convenience, and the same information will be presented at both meetings.

The weather postponed the Saturday, January 20th Workshop, but we have rescheduled that session to Saturday, February 10th and look forward to your participation. If you have previously registered for the Saturday session, we will transfer your reservation to the new Saturday date shown below. You can also choose the Thursday, January 25th workshop. Here is complete updated meeting information:

RSVP here


Stakeholder Workgroup

Thank you to those that applied, applications are currently being reviewed.

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

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


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 was awarded a federal grant through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program to help us advance overdue improvements in West Baltimore. 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.

January 2024 Community Workshops

For over 50 years the “Highway to Nowhere” divided West Baltimore. Now, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration, is coordinating the West Baltimore United Planning project that will set the communities of West Baltimore on a path to a brighter future. We are excited about this opportunity to come together and dialogue about what you want the future to look like in this corridor. Two meetings are scheduled for your convenience, and the same information will be presented at both meetings.

The weather postponed the Saturday, January 20th Workshop, but we have rescheduled that session to Saturday, February 10th and look forward to your participation. If you have previously registered for the Saturday session, we will transfer your reservation to the new Saturday date shown below. You can also choose the Thursday, January 25th workshop. Here is complete updated meeting information:

RSVP here


Stakeholder Workgroup

Thank you to those that applied, applications are currently being reviewed.

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

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


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

over 1 year

Page last updated: 14 Feb 2024, 05:27 AM