Reconnecting Communities

Winning Applications

Reconnecting Communities

Winning Applications

The first round of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant Program awarded $185 million to 45 communities (49 Planning Grants and 6 Capital Construction Grants) to reconnect communities that are cut off from opportunity and burdened by past transportation infrastructure decisions. Of the cities that participated in a Hub webinar on Reconnecting Communities opportunities and then applied for a grant, 38% won funding. View all of the 2022 Reconnecting Communities awardees. 

Here are examples of winning applications:

Planning Grants

Akron, OH

Akron received $960,000 to create a community-based master plan that will guide the transformation of Akron’s Innerbelt, sometimes referred to as “Akron’s Road to Nowhere”, after it was never fully completed in the 1970s. The 3-mile partial construction of the Innerbelt split several existing neighborhoods in half, displaced thousands of primarily Black neighborhoods, and caused stores and businesses to shut down or relocate. The goal of this master plan is to identify interventions that can be immediately implemented while also looking at longer-term opportunities that repurpose the infrastructure/land to improve the future resilience of the city and reconnect the communities that were disconnected from Akron’s physical and social fabric. View the winning application

Austin, TX

Austin received $1.1 million to evaluate the use of  “caps” and “stitches” on an 8-mile stretch of highway to reconnect East and West Austin.The highway’s construction in the 1960s has been a  driver of segregation in Austin since the 1960s – part of a legacy of zoning, redlining, and other discriminatory policies that segregated and harmed these predominantly Black, Mexican-American, and low-income communities and hampered economic opportunity. View the winning application

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte received $1 million to study two key interchanges in the city’s West End, which is home to Johnson C. Smith University, a Historically Black University. The goal of the study is to reconnect this historically Black community to jobs, healthcare, grocery stores, and public space for non-motorized travelers. It will also propose recommendations for equitable transit-oriented development and the inclusion of mixed-use and mixed-income housing development for the West End community. View the winning application | View the case study here

Houston, TX

Houston received $552,160 to carry out a study to address challenges posed by legacy infrastructure in tone of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods with the highest rates of walking, cycling, and public transit use. However, the neighborhood’s transportation infrastructure is built around single occupancy vehicle travel, and this study will recommend changes that better-suit the neighborhood’s transportation patterns. View the winning application

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh received $1.4 million to study how best to reconnect two historically Black neighborhoods that were divided by freeway construction. The study will explore ways to create new bridges, viaducts, and other connectors so that the freeway can better serve the neighborhood. View the winning application

Portland, OR

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Albina Vision Trust (AVT) jointly received $800,000 to evaluate how to reconnect a historically Black community that was impacted by redlining resulting from highway construction. The study will engage public agency stakeholders and community members to develop solutions to address the socio-economic disparities and environmental burdens resulting from harmful historic policies. View the winning application

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse received $500,000 to develop an Action Plan to reconnect a predominantly Black neighborhood into Syracuse’s economic center, providing  access to jobs, healthcare, and recreation. The neighborhood was previously victimized by redlining resulting from the construction of Interstate 81; this grant will study how to reconnect the community for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users while also supporting community engagement. View the winning application

Tucson, AZ

Tucson received $900,000 to plan and design a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over an interstate highway to reconnect several historically Latino neighborhoods designated as “Areas of Persistent Poverty” (AOPP)  to groceries, schools, medical care, and economic opportunity. View the winning application | View the case study here

Capital Grants

Long Beach, CA

Long Beach, CA was awarded $30 million to support its Shoreline Drive Gateway Project, which will reconnect a neighborhood that was cut off from economic development as a result of post-World War II urban renewal and freeway construction. This project will convert a freeway into a landscaped local roadway, creating a 5.5 acre park with a bicycle path and pedestrian amenities. The project will also leverage a community benefit agreement to ensure that local residents are hired for jobs on the project, which will lead to additional economic opportunity. View the winning application | View the case study here