45 projects receive first Reconnecting Communities grants from US DOT

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Tuesday the first round of grant awards for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, which aims to restore connections between communities that had been severed by highways and other transportation infrastructure. Grants totaling $185 million will go to 45 projects, part of a $1 billion investment over five years funded through the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

The DOT also established the Reconnecting Communities Institute, which will “provide technical assistance to build organizational and community capacity available to grant recipients and other eligible entities interested in reconnecting communities,” according to the press release.

The initial round of grants consists of 39 planning grants and six capital construction grants…

An additional $3 billion will be available from the Inflation Reduction Act through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program, which can also fund projects that reconnect communities, the press release said. The Transportation Department said it anticipates launching this program later this spring.