East Coast Greenway projects boosted by record $70+ million in federal RAISE funding

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Camden County, New Jersey's LINK Trail received a $19 million federal RAISE grant in 2023 (Photo by Avi Steinhardt).

DURHAM, North Carolina - Backed by the support of the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance, a record of more than $70 million in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant program has recently been awarded to projects along the East Coast Greenway, a developing 3,000-mile bicycle and pedestrian route stretching from Maine to Florida.

This increased East Coast Greenway investment at the federal level follows a national trend. Across the United States, nearly $400 million granted in this round of RAISE funding is “being invested to solely fund bicycle and pedestrian projects,” according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Seven East Coast Greenway and Greenway-adjacent projects supported by Alliance staff members in conjunction with state and local partners were awarded RAISE funding, including: 

  • $4 million in Maine: Construction of 2.7 miles of the Eastern Trail in Kennebunk, Wells and North Berwick

  • $2.2 million in Massachusetts: Pre-construction activities for 1.7 miles of the Blue Lane Working Waterfront Connector in New Bedford

  • $2.2 million in Rhode Island: Construction of a 1-mile connector to the Washington Secondary Trail in Cranston

  • $19 million in New Jersey: Construction of the Camden County LINK Trail (including 1.4 miles of the East Coast Greenway)

  • $25 million in Delaware: Construction of the Newport River Trail (2 miles, East Coast Greenway spur)

  • $25 million in Maryland: Construction of the Prince George's County Connector Trail (including 0.6 miles of the East Coast Greenway)

  • $2 million in Florida: Planning of the Village Green Drive Corridor (1 mile) in Port St. Lucie

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, right, announced a $4 million RAISE grant for construction of 2.7 miles of the Eastern Trail in Kennebunk, Wells and North Berwick, Maine. (Left: Kristine Keeney, East Coast Greenway Alliance Northern New England Manager; Center: Mike Pardue, Kennebunk Town Manager)

Support by Alliance staff members included working with communities to prioritize these projects and get them application-ready, assistance with applications, project area maps, letters of support and advocating and coordinating with elected officials to help secure funding. 

With a continued aim of helping more communities access this increased funding, East Coast Greenway Alliance field staff members assisted local partners by adding capacity and technical assistance to apply for RAISE grants ahead of a February 2023 deadline. More than half of the funds requested via Alliance-supported applications were awarded. 

This record total builds upon a then-record $50 million awarded to Greenway RAISE projects in 2022.

“Working in collaboration with our amazing local partners, the East Coast Greenway Alliance team again made a significant contribution to securing record-setting funding for so many impactful projects from Maine to Florida. Investments like these can be transformational, as we continue to work toward our goal of developing a network of accessible and equitable greenways for all across our 15 states and 450 communities,” said East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the “RAISE Discretionary Grant program provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.”

"Using the funds in President Biden’s infrastructure law, we are helping communities in every state across the country realize their visions for new infrastructure projects,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This round of RAISE grants is helping create a new generation of good-paying jobs in rural and urban communities alike, with projects whose benefits will include improving safety, fighting climate change, advancing equity, strengthening our supply chain and more.”  

Click for full details on the projects funded, as well as a map of the grant recipients.

The East Coast Greenway Alliance has a sustained track record of turning every dollar donated to our nonprofit into $50 in public investment. Invest today and support the growth of the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Florida. 

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