Awards Announced from The Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program

Feb. 28, 2023
The program aims to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $184 million in grant awards through the new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The initiative aims to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and are hindered by past transportation infrastructure decisions.

The Reconnecting Communities Program provides technical assistance and funding for communities’ planning and construction projects that aim to connect neighborhoods back together by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating transportation barriers such as highways and railroad tracks.

This first round of grants will fund construction and planning for transformative community-led solutions, including capping interstates with parks, filling in sunken highways to reclaim the land for housing, converting inhospitable transportation facilities to tree-lined Complete Streets, and creating new crossings through public transportation, bridges, tunnels and trails.

“Transportation should connect, not divide, people and communities,” said Buttigieg. “We are proud to announce the first grantees of our Reconnecting Communities Program, which will unite neighborhoods, ensure the future is better than the past, and provide Americans with better access to jobs, health care, groceries and other essentials.”

The first round of funding is being awarded to 39 Planning Grants and 6 Capital Construction grants. Awarded projects include:

  • Buffalo, New York is receiving $55.6 million for the Kensington Expressway. The funding will go to a new highway cap, and a tunnel over the Kensington Expressway.
  • Long Beach, California is receiving $30 million to redesign West Shoreline Drive converting the urban freeway into a landscaped, lower-speed roadway.
  • Birmingham, Alabama will receive $800,000 for Birmingham's Transportation Capital Investment Plan, advancing data-driven transportation recommendations to lessen the negative impacts of existing rail and highway infrastructure on the connectivity of many of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods, and historically Black communities especially.

A full list of winners can be viewed here.


Source: USDOT

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