Over the next few weeks, we are breaking down the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). For some, this introduction will serve as a review. We’re catching others up to speed. Now let’s examine what the IIJA is, what to expect, and the terms of the funding opportunities.
What Is the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act?
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act goes by a couple names: The IIJA, or the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL for short). It was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021, and the bill authorizes $1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure spending with $550 billion of that going toward “new” investments and programs.
Funding from the IIJA is expansive in its reach, addressing energy and power infrastructure, access to broadband internet, water infrastructure, and more. Some of the new programs funded by the bill could provide the resources needed to address a variety of infrastructure needs at the local level.
Where Does the $1.2 trillion Go?
The money won’t be distributed all at once. The funding will be directed over a five-year period. And there are three types of funding for the IIJA:
- Money that comes from the Highway Trust Fund: This essentially gives agencies resources to spend over the five-year period.
- Guaranteed Appropriations: These are funds added by the IIJA that will either create new programs or bolster existing funding with no need for future action.
- General Funds: These are funds that are authorized to be spent but require future action by the appropriations committees.
Here is the breakdown of how the $1.2 trillion will be divided:
- Previously-Passed Transportation Funding: $650 billion.
- Roads, Bridges, and Related Programs: $111 billion.
- Energy, Power, and Electric Grid Reliability: $107.50 billion.
- Freight and Passenger Rail: $66 billion.
- Broadband: $65 billion.
- Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: $55 billion.
- Public Transportation: $39.20 billion.
- Airports: $25 billion.
- Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation: $23.30 billion.
- Cleaning-Up Abandoned Sites: $21 billion.
- Army Corps of Engineers: $16.70 billion.
- Highway and Pedestrian Safety: $11 billion.
- Ports and Coast Guards: $7.8 billion.
- Cybersecurity and Other Infrastructure Programs: $10.11 billion.
Points to Consider in Preparation of Program Rollout.
As the IIJA implementation gets underway, these are some considerations local governments should have in mind:
- Coordinate across departments internally and with metropolitan planning organizations.
- Prioritize your community’s capital needs and develop a project pipeline.
- Review the IIJA Guidebook to identify potential funding streams to focus on.
- Become familiar with your state’s broadband agency and work with them to ensure your local community or region’s needs are appropriately mapped and inventoried.
- Establish relationships with the regional offices for the federal agencies that are key to addressing your community’s needs as they can help you direct you to resources and provided technical assistance.
Although this is not a definitive list, these examples will set you up for success.
Stay tuned for Part Two of our ongoing series, breaking down the IIJA.