A New Orleans Neighborhood Confronts the Racist Legacy of a Toxic Stretch of Highway

Amy Stelly, an advocate living near the Hunter’s Field Playground in New Orleans, is fighting to dismantle the Claiborne Expressway due to noise and pollution concerns. The highway, built in the 1960s, divided Black communities and caused economic decline. Stelly’s group proposed a plan to remove the expressway, but the federal government denied it. They are now participating in an EPA-funded study on the health impacts of pollution under the expressway. Stelly believes removal of the highway is the only solution, backed by scientific data. The study’s findings could inform other communities facing similar issues with infrastructure.

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