Transportation construction industry reacts to Infrastructure Act becoming law

Nov. 17, 2021

Law to invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair the nation's roads and bridges

Several associations in the surface transportation construction industry have responded to the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law by President Biden on Nov. 15.

According to the White House, the law will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair the nation's roads and bridges and support major projects. It will also rebuild the most economically significant bridges in the country as well as thousands of smaller bridges.

“State departments of transportation applaud Congress and the President for getting this important piece of legislation to the finish line, as it provides historic funding increases for federal highway, transit, highway safety, and rail programs and directly addresses equity, climate change, system resiliency, bridge investment, and project delivery and environmental review processes," the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) said in a statement. “AASHTO and state DOTs look forward to working with our partners at U.S. DOT to implement the law as soon as possible. State and local transportation agencies are eager to get to work on the multi-modal projects that will provide real benefits to the people of every community across the country.”

“The bipartisan infrastructure law is a victory for all Americans," American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chairman Ward Nye said in a statement. "Let’s get to work delivering transportation project outcomes that will boost the economy and make our roadways and railways safer.”

"We are thrilled and thankful to advance this once-in-a-generation bill, with a significant investment in transportation infrastructure, across the finish line in a bipartisan way," National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) President and CEO Audrey Copeland, Ph.D., P.E., said in a statement. “IIJA is an investment in every American that will spur economic activity, jobs, and innovation, while advancing carbon reduction. Asphalt pavement is already America’s most recycled product, and our industry is embarking on a bold vision toward net zero carbon emissions. We will, as we always have, do our part for our communities and our country, including our shared climate."

In addition, the first ever Safe Streets and Roads for All program to support projects that would reduce traffic fatalities is included in the IIJA. The legislation also includes a total of $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding from combined new investments and reauthorization of existing programs for public transportation, according to the White House.

"The $107 billion for public transit and $102 billion for commuter rail, Amtrak, and other high-performance rail in this bill will build infrastructure that will make public transportation faster, more modern, and more reliable, while tackling climate change, advancing equity issues, and providing growing communities sustainable mobility options," APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said in a statement. "These are issues we can no longer ignore, and with enactment of this legislation, the public transit industry will be uniquely positioned to address these issues head on."