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Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program


FY22 awards announced: $185 million for 45 communities across the United States

On February 28, 2023, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a historic $185 million in grant awards for 45 projects through the new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and burdened by past transportation infrastructure decisions.

The Department is awarding 6 Capital Construction Grants and 39 Planning Grants in this first round of the program. View all of the selected projects.

Image banner shows 4 images: 3-D rendering of a highway, Boston's Chinatown, a 3-D rendering of a bridge over a railyard, and musicians

Explore the Interactive Reconnecting Communities StoryMap about the past, present, and future of reconnecting communities.


Secretary Buttigieg Introduces the RCP Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the new Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) discretionary grant program, funded with $1 billion over the next 5 years.

It is the first-ever Federal program dedicated to reconnecting communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure. Funding supports planning grants and capital construction grants, as well as technical assistance, to restore community connectivity through the removal, retrofit, mitigation, or replacement of eligible transportation infrastructure facilities.

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What is an Eligible Facility? 

A highway, including a road, street, or parkway or other transportation facility, such as a rail line, that creates a barrier to community connectivity, including barriers to mobility, access, or economic development, due to high speeds, grade separations, or other design factors. 

Funding Available

Fiscal Year 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 5-Year Total
Planning & Technical Assistance $50M $50M $50M $50M $50M $250M
Capital Construction $145M $148M $150M $152M $155M $750M
Total Authorized Amount $195M $198M $200M $202M $205M $1,000M

Planning Grants

Planning grants may be used to study the feasibility and impacts of removing, retrofitting, or mitigating an existing eligible facility or to conduct planning activities necessary to design a project to remove, retrofit, or mitigate an existing eligible facility.

Who is eligible to apply for planning grant funding?

  • States
  • Units of local government
  • Federally recognized Tribal governments
  • Metropolitan planning organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations

Eligible planning activities

  • Planning studies of: current traffic patterns on the eligible facility proposed for removal, retrofit, or mitigation and the surrounding street network; transportation network capacity; alternative roadway designs or other uses for the right-of-way; impacts to the mobility of freight and people; impacts to the safety of the traveling public; cost; anticipated economic impacts and environmental impacts both human and natural.
  • Public engagement activities to provide the public opportunities to provide input into a plan to remove and convert an eligible facility.
  • Other transportation planning activities required in advance of a project to remove, retrofit, or mitigate an existing eligible facility to restore community connectivity, as determined by DOT.

Technical Assistance

The Department must prioritize technical assistance to economically disadvantaged communities. The Department is launching the Reconnecting Communities Institute to provide technical assistance.

Technical assistance is for building organizational or community capacity to engage in transportation planning and to identify innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges, including reconnecting communities that are bifurcated by eligible facilities or lack safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options.

Capital Construction Grants 

Capital construction grants may be used for projects for which all necessary studies and other planning activities have been completed to remove, retrofit, mitigate, or to replace an existing eligible facility. 

Who is eligible to apply for capital construction grant funding? 

Eligible applicants for Capital Construction Grants are:

  • the Facility Owner or
  • Eligible applicants to Planning Grants may submit the application for a Capital Construction Grant, as long as the Owner of the eligible transportation facility is a joint applicant, with evidence of endorsing the application. 

Eligible capital construction projects

  • Removal, retrofit, or mitigation of an existing eligible facility.
  • Replacement of an eligible facility with a new facility that restores community connectivity and is sensitive to the context of the surrounding community.
  • Preliminary and detailed design activities and associated environmental studies; predevelopment / preconstruction; permitting activities including the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process; delivering community benefits and the mitigation of impacts identified through the NEPA process or other planning and project development for the capital construction project.

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023