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Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program

  • Granting Agency: USDOT
  • Appropriation Amount: $195 Million
  • Grant Amount: $2-145 Million, 20% Match
  • Announcement Date: July 1, 2022
  • Closing Date: October 13, 2022

Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF)
Read the Reconnecting Communities Toolkit to plan your application.
Learn more about the program and watch application webinars here.

Purpose: The RCP Program is to reconnect communities by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating transportation facilities such as highways and rail lines that create barriers to community connectivity including to mobility, access, or economic development.

The program provides technical assistance and grant funding for planning and capital construction to address infrastructure barriers, restore community connectivity, and improve peoples’ lives. The variety of transformative solutions to knit communities back together can include: high-quality public transportation, infrastructure removal, pedestrian walkways and overpasses, capping and lids, linear parks and trails, roadway redesigns and complete streets conversions, and main street revitalization. The RCP Program welcomes applications from diverse local, Tribal, and regional communities regardless of size, location, and experience administering Federal funding awards.

Eligible Expenditures:

The proposed project must address an “eligible facility,” which is defined as a highway or other transportation facility 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. Eligible facilities include: limited access highways, viaducts, any other principal arterial facilities, and other facilities such as transit lines, rail lines, gas pipelines, and airports. See Section H – Definitions for “highway” and Section D – Key Information table for a suggested list of other facilities.
i. Eligible Planning Grant Activities and Costs:
a) Public engagement activities, including community visioning or other place-based strategies for public input into project plans.
b) Planning studies to assess the feasibility of removing, retrofitting, or mitigating an existing eligible facility to reconnect communities, including assessments of:
• Current traffic patterns on the facility and the surrounding street network.
• Capacity of existing transportation networks to maintain mobility needs.
• Alternative roadway designs or other uses for the right-of-way.
• The project’s impact on mobility of freight and people.
• The project’s impact on safety.
• The estimated cost to restore community connectivity and to convert the facility to a different design or use, compared to any expected maintenance or reconstruction costs.
• The project’s anticipated economic impact and development opportunities.
• The project’s environmental, public health, and community impacts.

c) Other planning activities in advance of the project, such as:
• Conceptual and preliminary engineering, or design and planning studies that support the environmental review for a construction project.
• Associated needs such as locally-driven land use and zoning reform, transit-oriented development, housing supply, in particular location-efficient affordable housing, managing gentrification and neighborhood change, proposed project impact mitigation, green and open space, local history and culture, access and mobility barriers, jobs and workforce, or other necessary planning activities as put forth by the applicant that do not result in construction.

ii. Eligible Capital Construction Grant Projects and Costs:
Eligible projects include those for which all necessary feasibility studies and other planning activities have been completed. Projects must be consistent with the Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan, included in the Metropolitan Long-Range Plan (if applicable), and in the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and / or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), Tribal Transportation Improvement Program (TTIP) or equivalent, as applicable, prior to the obligation of the award. Transit projects must be included in the investment prioritization of the relevant Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan by the time of the obligation of the award.

Eligible construction grant activities include: preliminary and detailed design activities and associated environmental studies; predevelopment / preconstruction; permitting activities including the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process; the removal, retrofit, or mitigation of an eligible facility; the replacement of an eligible facility with a new facility that restores community connectivity; delivering community benefits and the mitigation of impacts identified through the NEPA process or other planning and project development for the capital construction project.

Eligible Applicants:

The designated lead applicant will serve as the recipient to administer and implement the project. If the applicant seeks to transfer the award to another entity, that intention should be made clear in the application and a letter of support from the otherwise eligible, designated entity should be included in the application.

Applicants without experience in DOT funding requirements may opt to jointly apply with a partner in the same State or region, that has an established financial relationship with DOT and has knowledge of Federal grant administration requirements, to minimize delays in establishing and implementing funding agreements. For joint application partners that would also receive grant funds through the recipient (lead applicant), or if the recipient seeks to transfer the award to another agency, the recipient must determine whether such arrangement would be contractual (example, with philanthropic or community-based organizations), or if the partners would be treated as a sub-recipient (example, with other governmental entities). Ultimately, the recipient is responsible for compliance with all Federal requirements applicable to the award.

i. Planning Grants
Eligible applicants are: (1) a State; (2) a unit of local government; (3) a Federally recognized Tribal government; (4) a Metropolitan Planning Organization; and (5) a non-profit organization.

ii. Capital Construction Grants
Eligible applicants must be the owner(s) of the eligible facility proposed in the project for which all necessary feasibility studies and other planning activities have been completed. Owners of an eligible facility, for the purposes of submitting a grant application, may submit a joint application with: (1) a State; (2) a unit of local government; (3) a Federally recognized Tribal government; (4) a Metropolitan Planning Organization; and  (5) a non-profit organization.

Additional information can be found in the NOFO. Ongoing updates, webinar notices, FAQs:
Call: Faith Hall at (202) 366-9055. A Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) is
available (202) 366-3993.
Contact DOT operating administration field or headquarters offices:
• Federal Highway Administration,;
• Federal Transit Administration,;
• Federal Railroad Administration,