Ask and ye shall receive - that seems to be the story with the L.A. area and the federal government right now with preparations underway for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

According to a news release from Senator Alex Padilla, the Los Angeles area will receive more than $160 million in grant funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and the Neighborhood Access and Equity Programs, both of which were created through the landmark 2021 federal infrastructure bill. Per an information sheet provided by Padilla, L.A. County projects receiving money include:

Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program Challenge Project MapMetro

$139 million for L.A. Metro to implement bus speed and reliability improvements, first/last mile projects, mobility hubs, and other initiatives to connect communities divided by highways and arterial roads. According to the USDOT, that total will go toward:

  • 14 miles of bus priority lanes;
  • 23 miles of bus corridor enhancements;
  • all door boarding, bus shelters; and
  • 60 Metro Bike Share stations.

Humphreys Avenue at the I-710 FreewayGoogle Maps

$9.96 million for L.A. Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. County Public Works to build a dedicated pedestrian and bicycle overcrossing next to the Humphreys Avenue bridge atop the I-710 in East Los Angeles. This would be coupled with upgrades to sidewalks and other pedestrian safety improvements.

Pedestrian bridge at Avalon Promenade and GatewayT.Y. Lin International

$5 million for the Port of Los Angeles to build a pedestrian bridge above two mainline freight tracks. The 400-foot-long bridge, which would extend from the intersection of Avalon Boulevard and Harry Bridges Boulevard to the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade, completing a more than $80-million park space.

Image via Friends of Hollywood Central Park

$3.59 million for Friends of Hollywood Central Park and the City of Los Angeles to take the long-delayed Hollywood Central Park project to shovel-ready status. The proposed open space would cap the US-101 Freeway between Santa Monica Boulevard and Bronson Avenue to create 38 acres of open space.

Aerial view of MacArthur Park looking southeastHunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

$2 million for the City of Los Angeles to begin the planning process to close the segment of Wilshire Boulevard which bisects MacArthur Park between Alvarado and Carondelet Streets, creating 1.7 acres of new open space and restoring the park to its original dimension.

Hamilton Loop project boundariesCity of Long Beach

$1.2 million for Long Beach's Hamilton Loop project, which will turn an embankment on the SR-91 freeway, underpasses, and other nearby streets into a community park space including a pedestrian path, protected bike lanes, community gardens, play equipment, a dog park, and picnic areas, among other features

Belvedere Park in East Los AngelesGoogle Maps

$800,000 for L.A. County to begin planning for a freeway cap and green bridge above SR-60 in East Los Angeles to reconnect Belvedere Park. Plans call for recreation space, some parking, a playground, community art, and a north-south paseo with sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

“With the 2028 Olympic Games around the corner, we have a responsibility to invest in transportation infrastructure that both makes the Games run smoothly and makes a lasting improvement to the mobility and connectivity of the communities who need it most,” said Padilla. “For far too long, communities across California have been cut off by the construction of highways and other transportation infrastructure, stifling mobility in the region. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, we’re reconnecting our communities to decrease pollution, increase job opportunities, and remove barriers to economic and educational opportunity.”

This is not the first time L.A. County has scored through the Reconnecting Communities program. Last year, the inaugural round of the program brought $30 million to realign Shoreline Drive in Downtown Long Beach to expand Cesar Chavez Park. Local transportation mega projects have also benefitted from the Biden administration's munificence in recent months, including the Inglewood People Mover, California High Speed Rail, and the Brightline West high speed train to Las Vegas.

A news release from L.A. Mayor Karen Bass also points out that the East San Fernando Valley light rail line on Van Nuys Boulevard and the Purple/D Line extension will also receive more than $700 million in the coming year from the federal government.

Other regions scoring major investments through the Reconnecting Communities program include Atlanta, which will receive more than $150 million for a freeway cap park through the city's downtown.

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