USDOT Announces Reconnecting Communities Funding

July 5, 2024
Four projects across the country will benefit

This week, transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the third round of the Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (RCP).

The FY24 NOFO contains FY24-26 funding of more than $600 million available for both capital construction and community planning grants. 

Last year, the Reconnecting Communities Pilot was combined with the Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) program, joining two initiatives to reconnect communities cut off from opportunity by past transportation infrastructure decisions, with a combined $3.3 billion in funding that supported projects in 130 communities.

To date, 176 communities have benefited from RCP and NAE funding. 

“Through President Biden’s infrastructure law, we’re addressing infrastructure choices of the past and making sure that our transportation investments serve to connect, rather than divide, people and communities across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “This funding will support projects that bring people closer to jobs, schools, housing, places of worship, and one another.”   

Reconnecting projects awarded funding earlier this year include: 

  • The Reconnecting Atlanta’s Southside Communities: Georgia will construct a multi-use trail to connect schools, hospitals, job centers, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail stations, the BeltLine, and employment centers that were cut off by the construction of major interstates around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 
  • The Reconnecting 4th Ave. North: Alabama was awarded a grant for a 15-block Complete Streets redesign of Birmingham’s Black Main Street. The redesign will include converting the road from one-way to two-way and will help reconnect downtown neighborhoods and businesses divided by the construction of Interstate 65 in the 1960s. 
  • The Interstate 5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project in Portland, Oregon will construct a highway cover that will support new community space and future development while reconnecting Lower Albina to local streets over I-5. 
  • The I-81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse, New York will remove parts of I-81 to transform the surrounding neighborhood into a complete streets network, increase connections to downtown Syracuse, improve traffic flow, increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and spur additional investment in the neighborhood.

The RCP program is covered under President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

Source: The U.S. Department of Transportation

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