Earlier this week, the City of Philadelphia announced the “Chinatown Stitch: A Project to Reconnect Philadelphia to Vine Street.” The announcement included a new $1.8M grant from Reconnecting Community Pilot Program (RCP) to accelerate the planning process. The planning project will cost $4M which includes the $1.8M RCP grant and $2.2M offered by the City, PennDOT, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a number of private local donors.

The City of Philadelphia said in a press release on Thursday, March 8th,

Since the 1960s, the Vine Street Expressway has been greeted with significant community opposition. Upon completion of construction in 1991, the expressway intensified the social and economic disconnect between the Chinatown and Chinatown North neighborhoods. The community engaged in numerous neighborhood plans and studies over the past twenty years.

The new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program is the first-of-its-kind federal initiative to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and burdened by past transportation infrastructure decisions. In total, USDOT awarded grants to 45 projects across the country equaling $185 Million in February of this year.

The planning process includes community input in the form of community meetings and surveys. The feedback will directly influence the proposed designs developed in the second phase of the Concept Study. Public engagement will be a fundamental part of this process. You can find the survey in English, Spanish, and simplified Chinese.

In April, the project team will host a public visioning session to hear from the community about potential uses and locations for the capped area(s). Additional pop-up events are planned throughout the spring and summer of 2023. A schedule will be available on the project website’s calendar of events. 

Over the next few years, the grant funding will support public engagement, planning and engineering work. These efforts will contribute toward future construction grant applications, as fundraising and project development continue. The City hopes to start construction by 2028, depending on funding availability and the complexity of concepts chosen by the community.

To learn more, visit the project page or contact otis@phila.gov

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