Press Release

Citing I-81 In Syracuse As Example Of A Highway That Segregated Marginalized Communities, Gillibrand Highlights Need To Address Systemic Racism In Federal Highway Projects While Questioning Nominee For Federal Highway Administrator

Jan 29, 2019

***Watch EPW Committee Hearing Video Here ** 

Washington, DC – Today, at an Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand cited I-81 in Syracuse in her questioning of Nicole R. Nason, the nominee to become the Federal Highway Administrator, and highlighted the need to address systemic racism in federal highway projects. Citing I-81 in Syracuse as an example of an interstate highway that segregated marginalized communities and limited their economic opportunities, Gillibrand questioned the nominee about how she will work to ensure that all communities benefit from the nation’s future transportation projects.

“The construction of the interstate highway system remains one of the most transformative achievements in the nation’s history,” Gillibrand said at the EPW hearing. “While these highways connected cities and towns from coast-to-coast and to the global market, the construction of this system too often destroyed communities, particularly minority communities.”

Below are the questions that Senator Gillibrand asked Nason at the EPW Hearing:

  1. What role should the federal government play in addressing the past federal highway projects that marginalized some communities, especially minority communities?
  2. What do you think the nation can do to prioritize economic and environmental justice in our transportation planning?