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Urbanland: Top 10 Freeway Removal Projects

Louisville typically plays it safe. I guess there is something to be said for not failing, but when it comes to freeway removal, Louisville stands to gain more than most other projects around the country. 

Top 10 Metro Highway Removal Projects, from Urbanland:

"At one time, highway teardown projects in urban U.S. cities were rare, with about one occurring each decade. In the 1970s, Portland closed Harbor Drive. In the 1990s, San Francisco tore down the Embarcadero Freeway. And in the 2000s, Milwaukee removed the Park East Freeway spur. But this decade, freeway removal projects are gaining popularity and momentum, with three demolitions already underway and another dozen projects on the drawing board."

 Our time will come.

NPR: Saying Goodbye to Freeways

"Half a century after cities put up freeways, many of those roads are reaching the end of their useful lives. But instead of replacing them, a growing number of cities are thinking it makes more sense just to tear them down."

"Now, taking down freeways has gone mainstream. Cities as diverse as New Haven, New Orleans and Seattle are either doing it or talking about it. The chief motivation seems to be money."

Read the entire article here.

US funds freeway removal projects, denies ORBP

Last Wednesday, the US Department of Transportation denied the Bridges Authority's grant request for $135 Million, but funded three other grant projects that involved freeway removal. How poetic.

Read We're tearing this highway down, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood says.

Columnist Neal Peirce on freeway removal

Read the Time to accelerate freeway removals? article on It concludes:

"The timing, as the nation turns away from far-out sprawl and more to center cities, should be perfect -- atoning for the last generation's racially-tinged land seizure, making use of prime urban land to create livability, and opening up choice new economic development sites."

St. Louis planners agree, I-70 should be removed

According to St. Louis Business Journal article Most Arch Design Teams: Remove I-70 Downtown, 4 out of 5 of the groups in a design competition recommend rerouting I-70 away from downtown as proposed by the City to River advocacy group. Link to Google Maps showing I-70 across St. Louis' waterfront.

While Louisville struggles to break free from an inbred political system that answers to special interests, other cities like St. Louis are moving forward with exciting plans to embrace a more livable and sustainable future.

NPR: Marketplace covers NYC Freeway Removal


This afternoon on NPR's Marketplace, Andrea Bernstein reported from New York City where there is growing momentum to remove an elevated portion of the FDR Drive.

You can listen to the piece by clicking here. Click Listen Now and go to 22:10. You can also view the Photo Gallery Slideshow.

The piece concluded:

"But around the country, mayors and governors are eying urban highway teardowns as the road to development, not congestion."

Except in Louisville, KY where outgoing Mayor Jerry Abramson has been aligned for decades with a special interest group to stop the East End Bridge.

Louisville needs to change. Louisvillians are ready for change. It's time!

NYT: Plan to Remove Bronx Expressway Gains Traction

"For more than a decade, a plan pushed by some [Louisville] residents and transportation advocates has sat on the fringes of the State Transportation Department's to-do list, in part because it would be a radical undoing: tearing down [I-64 on Louisville's riverfront]."

OK, so we made a few changes to the NYTimes article. It's just a matter of time though. We'll get there. Read the article.

Fox41: ORBP could be scaled back, toll-free

"So in 2001, Missouri and Illinois went back to the drawing board. Both states agreed the project was too big and too costly. With money lacking, the solution was to downsize and build the bridge in phases. Ironically, the phase idea was borrowed from the Ohio River Bridges Project."

Watch Part I and Part II of the TV coverage.

St. Louis' "City to River" Campaign

St. Louis joins the growing list of cities looking to "open their front door" by removing an elevated expressway and reclaim their waterfront. Check out the City to River website. Do you think was already taken?

Oregonian newspaper column refers to 8664

Chicago urban planning blogger, Aaron Renn wrote a guest column for Portland's newspaper and uses 8664 as an example of the city's planning impact on other areas across the country. Read Picture Perfect Portland?

Renn's blog, the Urbanophile covered Louisville's Bridges issue back in June of 2009. Louisville: The case for 8664

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