The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has awarded $3.33 billion in federal funds through grants to 132 projects that aim to undo the harm done to neighborhoods by past construction of highways, rail lines and other infrastructure that cut off those communities from schools, jobs and health care.

The awards, which DOT announced March 13, include 52 capital construction grants, 71 planning grants and eight regional partnership grants.

The largest grant, for $450 million, goes to the Oregon DOT, for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement project in Portland. The second-largest award, $335.4 million, goes to the Massachusetts DOT, for an I-90 multimodal project in Allston.

The third largest is a $180-million grant to the New York State DOT for the I-81 Reconnecting Syracuse project.

Ranked fourth is a $158.9-million grant to the city of Philadelphia's "Chinatown Stitch," to rejoin two parts of a neighborhood that were severed by a center city expressway.

Fifth largest, at $157.6 million, is another "stitch" project, this one in Atlanta. It involves building a park over I-75 and I-85.

Funding comes from two sources: the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant program.

DOT says that having a joint application for funds from both programs makes it easier for those seeking grants to apply. 

Both programs have similar goals, such as placing a priority on aiding disadvantaged neighborhoods and improving residents' access to various types of basic services, adds DOT.