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Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program

Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program

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The Department of Transportation has released the 2024 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 – 2026 funding.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Grant Program to help reconnect communities previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure. The goal of the program is to advance community-centered transportation connection projects that improve access to daily needs such as jobs, education, healthcare, food, nature, and recreation, and foster equitable development and restoration.

The BIL authorized $1 billion in grant funding from FY 2022-26 for planning, construction and technical assistance; $607 million is remaining, all of which will be awarded under this NOFO. 

This NOFO will include FY24 – 26 funding for two grant types that involve the following activities:

Capital Construction

  • DOT will award $457 million to eligible construction activities necessary to carry out a project to remove, retrofit, or mitigate an existing eligible facility or replace an existing eligible facility with a new facility that reconnects communities. BIL specifies that the minimum capital construction grant award is $5 million. DOT anticipates that Capital Construction Grants may range from $5 million to $100 million. If a project is partially funded, project components executed through the RCP award must demonstrate independent utility.

Community Planning

  • DOT will award $150 million to eligible public engagement, feasibility studies, and other planning activities. BIL specifies that the maximum RCP Program Planning Grant award is $2 million.

The NOFO can be found on Grants.gov. Applications will eventually be submitted through Valid Eval, but the signup links are not yet available. There is a brief delay. Sign up for updates at this link website to receive an email once the signup forms are open or check the How to Apply page regularly. Once the links are live, they can be found below:

USDOT will evaluate applications for the programs using consistent merit criteria and other considerations. The merit criteria include: 

  • Equity and Justice40 Initiative
  • Access
  • Facility Suitability
  • Community Engagement and Community-based Stewardship, Management, and Partnerships
  • Equitable Development
  • Climate Change Mitigation and/or Adaptation and Resilience
  • Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity
  • Planning integration

Additional considerations include cost effectiveness, demonstrated project readiness (including technical assessment, financial completeness, and environmental review), permitting risk, and geographic diversity among recipients – including a balance between the needs of urban and rural projects.

DOT will host a series of webinars to go over pertinent components of this year’s NOFO. The schedule can be found below. Please register on the RCP website under Webinars.

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