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Long-awaited Tucson pedestrian bridge is getting funding from Department of Transportation

The city of Tucson will receive $900,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge.

The project is one of a few dozen nationwide funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is part of the department's Reconnecting Communities Program — a pilot program that aims to fund projects focused on reconnecting communities that have been historically cut off from opportunities and burdened by past infrastructure decisions. 

That includes parts of predominately-Latino south Tucson, where residents were severed from access to the Santa Cruz River and other parts of the city when Interstate 19 freeway was built more than 60 years ago. 

As a result, the department says residents have had less access medical facilities and economic opportunities, and deal with infrastructure inequities like a lack of bike and walking paths. They also face higher levels of air and noise pollution, and issues with sourcing fresh food. 

The forthcoming Atravessando Comunidade  project hopes to change that with a new greenway and pedestrian bridge that will stretch across the freeway. 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.