Working alongside state and local partners, the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance recently supported the submission of 14 grant applications totaling $150 million in requested funding for Greenway projects through the United States Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant program.
Submitted in advance of an April 14 deadline, the grant applications touch all regions of the East Coast Greenway route - the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South - and include 10 states, plus Washington, D.C. Selections are planned to be announced by Aug. 12.
Providing a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in projects that promise to achieve national objectives, the $1.5 billion in available RAISE funding in 2022 represents a 50 percent increase in available funds compared to last year.
With the aim of helping more communities access this increased funding, Alliance field staff members assisted local partners by adding capacity and technical assistance to apply for RAISE grants in 2022.
“We are excited to see so many of our local partners with funding-worthy, shovel-ready projects thanks to years of partnership, planning and advocacy,” East Coast Greenway Alliance National Greenway Manager Allison Burson said. “Our team is proud to help communities navigate the complex process that connects available federal dollars to local project needs.”
This year’s RAISE grant applications, from north to south, include:
Massachusetts: Lynnway Multi-modal Project
Massachusetts: Mattapoisett Rail Trail (South Coast Bikeway)
Massachusetts: Working Waterfront Connector (New Bedford, South Coast Bikeway)
Connecticut: Plainville gap of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
New York: Filling the Gaps: New York City's Greenway Expansion Plan
New Jersey: Segments 1A and 3 of the Camden County Link Trail
Pennsylvania: City of Chester East Coast Greenway / Industrial Heritage Trail
Maryland/Washington, D.C.: Prince George's Connector Trail
North Carolina: S-Line Corridor (Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties)
North Carolina: Elizabeth City Weeksville Road Accessibility and Connectivity Plan
South Carolina: Mount Pleasant Way
South Carolina: Atlantic Beach
Georgia: Highlander Trail (McIntosh County)
Florida: Core 2 Coast Loop (Jacksonville)
To date, USDOT has awarded $9.9 billion to more than 700 projects through this program. Previously these grants have been known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants.
In 2021, the East Coast Greenway staff played a key role in Durham, North Carolina, landing a $9 million RAISE grant for the soon-to-be constructed Durham Belt Line Trail.
In 2019, more than $40 million was awarded to key East Coast Greenway projects in Miami, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina.
“It’s important to ensure that densely populated urban communities, as well as rural areas, have equal access to greenways, much needed green spaces, and access to active transportation,” Burson added. “We are optimistic that many of these transformative projects will receive RAISE grant funding.”
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