Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Reveals 2023 FY Awardees03-20-24 | News

Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program Reveals 2023 FY Awardees

USDOT Increases Grant Amount
by Staff

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeg announced that $3.33 billion will go to 132 projects reconnecting residents to vital areas currently cut off by transportation infrastructure.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeg announced $3.33 billion in grant awards through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) program, which aims to restore access to important locations that were cut off by transportation infrastructure.

During its inaugural year in 2022, the RCP program awarded $185 million for 45 projects across the U.S. Now that it has been combined with the Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) program for the 2023 fiscal year, the RCP has increased the award amount by eighteen-fold, distributing $3.33 billion between 132 projects in more than 40 states.
In his announcement, Secretary Buttigeg said, "Today, we are proud to . . . help 132 communities deliver better infrastructure that reconnects residents to jobs, health care, and other essentials." 'Other essentials' also include schools, medical offices, employment centers, grocery stores, and places of worship. As highways and interstates were constructed to accommodate the boom in car travel, some communities closest to urban areas or major landmarks, like airports, were cut off from easily accessing these places. Projects receiving funds from the RCP program target disadvantaged communities who demonstrate strong community engagement and stewardship and who would find shared prosperity and job creation due to project development.
Some examples of past and current proposed projects include creating multi-use trails, enhancing existing transportation services, converting one-way streets into two-way streets, improving streetscapes and pedestrian safety, building highway covers containing parks and multi-use paths, and providing general improved access to central areas, like downtown and waterfront districts. Across the 132 projects, 72 of them will receive Planning Grants, 52 will receive Capital Construction Grants, and 8 will receive Regional Planning Grants. Applications for the next fiscal year are due in September and will be announced in the spring.