Black lawmaker hopes I-40 highway project can right an old wrong

NCDOT crews in New Hanover County are spreading the message with flowers along I-40. (Photo: NCDOT)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee state Rep. Harold Love Jr.’s father put up a fight in the 1960s against rerouting Interstate 40 because he believed it would stifle and isolate Nashville’s Black community.

His father was forced to sell a North Nashville home to make way for the highway.

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After his father’s prediction came true, Love Jr. is now part of a group pushing to build a cap across the highway that would create a community space to help reunify the city.

The $120 million project is being spearheaded by Mayor John Cooper’s administration. Atlanta; Austin, Texas; St. Paul, Minnesota; and other cities are pushing ahead with similar proposals to address racial inequities.