USDOT awards $185 million for innovative community reconnection projects
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Posted: 28 February 2023 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet
The Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program will help address infrastructure barriers that limit mobility, access or economic development for communities across the U.S.
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg has 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.
Established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Reconnecting Communities Program provides technical assistance and funding for communities’ planning and construction projects that aim to connect neighbourhoods back together by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating transportation barriers, such as highways and railroad tracks.
This first round of grants will award 39 Planning Grants and six Capital Construction grants, which will include 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. These projects will help revitalise communities, provide access to jobs and opportunity, as well as reduce pollution.
“Transportation should connect, not divide, people and communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to announce the first grantees of our Reconnecting Communities Program, which will unite neighbourhoods, ensure the future is better than the past, and provide Americans with better access to jobs, health care, groceries and other essentials.”
USDOT announces first-ever Reconnecting Communities grant programme
According to the USDOT, restoring communities like these helps give everyone a fair chance at accessing jobs and essential services, such as healthcare services, grocery stores and places of worship. The department has prioritised applications from economically disadvantaged communities, especially those that focused on equity and environmental justice, and would catalyse shared prosperity in its development and job creation.
In addition, the authority is standing up the Reconnecting Communities Institute to provide technical assistance to build organisational and community capacity available to grant recipients and other eligible entities interested in reconnecting communities.
As part of its commitment to improving transportation equity and the department’s Equity Action Plan, USDOT also launched the Thriving Communities Program in Autumn 2022, which facilitates the planning and development of transportation and community revitalisation activities and provides tools to ensure that under-resourced communities can access the historic funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
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Accessibility, Air Quality, Infrastructure & Urban Planning, Mobility Services, Passenger Experience, Public Transport
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)