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Rep. Torres & Bronx Environmental Groups Push Biden Administration to Invest in Fixing Cross Bronx Expressway Through the American Jobs Plan

April 23, 2021

 

 

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US House of Representatives Seal

U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres

15th Congressional District of New York

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2021

Rep. Torres & Bronx Environmental Groups Push Biden Administration

to Invest in Fixing Cross Bronx Expressway Through the American Jobs Plan

BRONX, NY. – Today, Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY15) was joined by Assembly member Karines Reyes and various Bronx environmental organizations and advocates to push the Biden Administration to include the transformation of the Cross Bronx Expressway in President Biden’s infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan, which is currently being considered by Congress. They highlighted a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pushing for the inclusion of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the $20 billion allocated in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan for “urban renewal.” The $20 billion will go to reinvest in neighborhoods and communities that have been torn apart by highways and other transportation projects. The Cross Bronx Expressway cuts right through the heart of the Bronx, causing harmful economic and environmental consequences for low income families in the surrounding neighborhoods. Children and families living near the Cross Bronx are breathing in pollutants every day, making the Bronx to have some of the highest childhood asthma rates in the nation. 

“The diesel trucks that often congest the Cross Bronx Expressway have been a death sentence for the people of the South Bronx, shorting their life spans with chronic diseases that have grown lethal in the age of COVID19,” said Rep. Torres. “ The Cross Bronx Expressway is, both literally and figuratively, a structure of environmental racism whose dismantling is long overdue. “Reimagining the Cross Bronx Expressway for the 21st century will build the Bronx back – better and greener than ever before. The Bronx deserves nothing less than its fair share of the American Jobs Plan.”

“The Bronx has been in dire need of reinvestment by the federal government to address urban renewal projects that have plagued the health and wellbeing of residents for decades. For years, black and brown communities have been subject to poor health conditions because of the environmental impact of the Cross Bronx Expressway and other highways in the borough. Capping the expressway would offer Bronxites the chance to take back land that has always been rightfully theirs while reducing poor asthma rates and improving the general health of adjacent neighborhoods. I thank Congressman Torres for his advocacy surrounding this issue and for standing together with me as a federal partner in pursuing this proposal,” said Assemblymember Karines Reyes.

The Cross Bronx has always been a structure of environmental racism and contributes to chronic health issues in the borough. The surrounding neighborhoods are in great need of reinvestment in infrastructure that will keep the Bronx community healthy for generations to come and President Biden’s plan has the ability to address the root cause of these systemic and historical injustices. 

Rep. Torres looks forward to working closely with the Biden Administration to fight for a cleaner, safer environment for Bronx families. 

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