HACLA Awarded over $6.9 Million in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program Funds

Date Published: 
July 12th, 2023

From the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' (HACLA) pres release:

On Wednesday, June 28, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $121,432,421 from the RAISE discretionary grant program to eight community-led infrastructure projects across California. HACLA was among the eight awardees in California, receiving a total of $6,967,923 for the “RAISE Up Watts: Catalyzing Connectivity through Active Transportation” project in Los Angeles, which will be used to plan and construct improvements to the Wilmington Avenue Corridor, including the replacement of Rainbow Bridge, intersection improvements, traffic calming measures, landscaping, and more. 

The RAISE grant program, expanded under President Biden’s infrastructure law and part of the Investing in America agenda, supports communities of all sizes, in both rural areas and urban areas. A brand-new program, this is the first time these funds have been made available through the Department of Transportation. The funds will assist HACLA with Neighborhood Projects committed to through Choice Neighborhoods and TCC.  

The planning and construction of improvements to the Wilmington Avenue Corridor will include: replacement of Rainbow Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that connects to the Watts Cultural Trail; and Vision Zero strategies including intersection improvements, traffic calming measures, landscaping, sidewalks, public art, wayfinding signage, bulb-outs, utility relocation, and ADA ramps. 

The project is strong in safety, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation. The project will transform the neighborhood by promoting active transportation and will improve access to the Watts Tower and Cultural Crescent, the local middle school, healthcare facilities and the Watts Cultural Trail; a critical link in the regional active transportation network. The approach incorporates significant feedback developed over long-standing collaborative engagements with local community organizations, as demonstrated by the Watts Rising Collaborative. 

Most of the projects will be implemented by the City of Los Angeles. 

“As a historically disadvantaged community, Watts has been an area of persistent poverty and is often passed over when it comes to areas of infrastructure and community improvement projects,” said HACLA President & CEO Doug Guthrie. “These funds will not only bring much needed resources to the community of Watts, but will contribute to the beautification of the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for its residents, which is something we are deeply committed to here at HACLA.”  

"We will continue to lock arms with the federal government to deliver for the people of Los Angeles -- this time helping to establish more livable communities, as we continue to confront the homelessness crisis and reach all neighborhoods throughout the City,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “This grant will further assist in our effort to revitalize areas like the Wilmington Avenue corridor throughout the City, and I look forward to the ongoing work with HACLA and our other City, County and federal partners to make Los Angeles safer, more livable and more equitable for all.” 

For more information on the RAISE program, click HERE

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