The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has begun to take applications from states, localities and other entities for up to $607 million in grants for projects aimed at relinking neighborhoods cut off by past highways and other infrastructure from jobs, schools, health care and other resources.

Funding for the new round of grants, whose launch DOT announced July 3, comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's Reconnecting Communities pilot program.

DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that the goal of the grants is “addressing infrastructure choices of the past and making sure that our transportation investments serve to connect, rather than divide, people and communities across the country.”

This year’s round of reconnecting communities grants is much smaller than the previous one, which distributed $3.3 billion. The difference was due to a one-time injection of funds from the Inflation Reduction Act. DOT noted that even with last year’s additional funds, the program was “oversubscribed and highly competitive.”

According to DOT’s funding availability notice for the program, a total of $607 million is available, including $457 million for capital construction grants and $150 million for planning grants and technical assistance.

DOT said it anticipates that capital grants will range from $5 million to $100 million.

In addition, DOT said that capital grants cannot be more than 50% of a project’s total cost.

Types of infrastructure eligible for the grants include limited-access highways, viaducts, transit lines and rail lines.

The notice adds that funds will go for “a variety of transformative solutions to knit communities back together.” They include removing infrastructure, adding walkways and overpasses, capping highways, redesigning roadways and carrying out “complete streets conversions.” Those conversions aim to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation, motor vehicles and others.

Eligible applicants include state, local, regional and tribal government agencies.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 30.