BALTIMORE (WJZ) -– Maryland officials want to remove Baltimore City’s “Highway to Nowhere,” a stretch of U.S. 40 built in the 1970s through West Baltimore.

“We are fully committed to finally ending this long-standing monstrosity,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.

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Van Hollen and others in Maryland’s congressional delegation used the highway in a push for President Biden’s infrastructure bill.

“It’s never too late to undo the wrongs of the past,” said Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-District 7. “These used to be very vibrant communities, very close-knit communities.”

Sens. Ben Cardin and Van Hollen are co-sponsoring the Reconnecting Communities Act to target communities like West Baltimore separated by highways.

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“They were built kind of with the mandate of going through the cheapest land possible,” said Dr. Celeste Chavis of Morgan State University. “It really bisected—it separated—a neighborhood, a very vibrant neighborhood at the time.”

The stretch of road from West Baltimore’s MARC Station to MLK Boulevard is blamed for ripping communities apart and displacing more than 1,500 people.

“The highway to nowhere is the poster child for inequality and systematic racism in our country,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

Elected officials pitched alternatives like additional green spaces and more transportation options, but what would replace the highway is still unknown.

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Paul Gessler