Caltrans Reconnecting Communities Program

**Caltrans is currently accepting Letters of Support and Partnership requests for the Federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) grant program. All requests have been extended to by Close of Business on July 31, 2023.  Please see below for more details.**


Caltrans' Reconnecting Communities Program centers on equitable community engagement and relationship building to facilitate a way for affected communities to express how they are burdened by highway facilities, identify their need for reconnection and improved access, and develop transformational strategies and connectivity solutions.

Federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Grant Program

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will soon release a joint Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) and Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) programs, which will combine the two major discretionary grants into one NOFO. Together, this combined program will be known as the Federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Grant Program FY23. 

Because of these shared characteristics, it is possible for many projects to be eligible and considered for both programs using a single application. In consideration of the combined single application, Caltrans will also require requests for Letters of Support (LOS) and Partnerships to be submitted on a single Smartsheets form. Please note that the original Federal Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program FY 23 (RCP FY 23) Smartsheets form initially sent out on May 24th will be accepted.

All requests are due by Close of Business on July 31, 2023.  Visit our Caltrans Office of Strategic Investment Planning (OSIP) to access the Smartsheet form for the template requests.

The Caltrans Office of Active Transportation & Complete Streets hosted a webinar for our external partners to review the call for Letters of Support/Partnerships and answer questions about the program and process on June 8, 2023. The webinar recording and PowerPoint can be accessed below. 

Webinar Recording

Webinar PowerPoint (PDF)


In 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) established the Federal Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) grant program, a $1 billion discretionary grant program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure. In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) established the $3.2 billion Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant (NAE) Program to provide funds for projects that improve walkability, safety, and affordable transportation access and address existing transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity in disadvantaged or underserved communities.

Under the combined Federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) grant program, the RCP and NAE grant programs share common goals including:

  • Prioritizing disadvantaged or underserved communities 
  • Aiming to improve access to daily needs such as jobs, education, healthcare, food, and recreation 
  • Fostering equitable development and restoration 
  • Reconnecting communities by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating highways or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including mobility, access, or economic development

More detailed information on the Federal RCN grant program can be found on USDOT’s website for Reconnecting Communities, which is listed in the Related Links section.

Caltrans Reconnecting Communities Handbook

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) developed a Caltrans Reconnecting Communities Handbook to serve as a resource for Caltrans districts, government agencies, and community organizations statewide to navigate the opportunities and strategies for developing projects that restore community connectivity. This handbook, at the highest level, aligns with Department’s core mission to provide a safe and reliable transportation network that serves all the people of California.

A draft of the handbook was made available for public comment in March 2023. Based upon comments received, Caltrans edited for process clarifications and noted topic areas to address in future updates of the handbook, which is considered a living document.

Reconnecting Communities Handbook (PDF) (TXT)