West Baltimore United - A Reconnecting Communities Planning Study

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The Highway to Nowhere is a lasting 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, 62 businesses, subsequently displacing approximately 1,500 residents, many of whom were African Americans. Roughly 50 years later, the road remains as both 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 improvements long overdue in West Baltimore. If successful in winning this grant, the planning study will assess existing conditions, opportunities, and constraints including constructability, multimodal traffic circulation, market demand, and project financing. These are all elements of more advanced planning that goes beyond visioning and ideas collected in previous planning studies. This study will build from that foundation to identify and set in motion the next 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 will stay involved and share your input as we move forward.

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

The Highway to Nowhere is a lasting 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, 62 businesses, subsequently displacing approximately 1,500 residents, many of whom were African Americans. Roughly 50 years later, the road remains as both 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 improvements long overdue in West Baltimore. If successful in winning this grant, the planning study will assess existing conditions, opportunities, and constraints including constructability, multimodal traffic circulation, market demand, and project financing. These are all elements of more advanced planning that goes beyond visioning and ideas collected in previous planning studies. This study will build from that foundation to identify and set in motion the next 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 will stay involved and share your input as we move forward.

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

Page last updated: 24 Oct 2022, 05:19 AM