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Preparing for Federal Infrastructure Legislation

September 16, 2021

Last month, the United States Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a historic bipartisan infrastructure agreement that would modernize and rehabilitate our nation’s core infrastructure. While the bill has not yet become law, its prospects for passage in the House of Representatives later this month are promising.

What does it mean for the communities we serve? To start, the $1.2 trillion plan includes $550 billion in new federal investment over the next five years for roads, bridges, rail, clean water, airports, schools, and more. The long-term bill means funding certainty that communities need to make effective planning decisions.

Specifically, the new funding bill (above current baseline) includes:

  • $110 billion for Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects
  • $55 billion for Water Infrastructure
  • $55 billion for Broadband
  • $21 billion for Environmental Remediation
  • $7.5 billion for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Beyond that new funding, the legislation includes reauthorization of traditional federal programs such as the surface transportation program at a level of $383.4 billion over five years, a 22% increase over current spending levels according to ASCE. Notably, the bill includes over $100 Billion in new competitive grant programs through USDOT and increases to grant programs that currently exist. The bill also includes a total of $40 billion of new funding for bridges, “the single largest dedication bridge investment since the construction of the interstate system,” according to the White House.

The needs of our nation’s infrastructure have been well-documented in the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. ASCE’s national and state report cards, among other reports, point to a need for more investment at all levels. While this federal legislation won’t solve all our needs, it will go a long way toward addressing the sizable backlog.

For 60 years, B&L has been a trusted partner to communities around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. If you feel that you may have a project that could qualify for one of the many state programs designated for the distribution of these funds, please contact one of the following representatives to discuss the opportunities available:

Matt Schooley, P.E. – Upstate New York

Mark Zessin, P.E. – Lower New England

John Adams, P.E. – Upper New England

Steve Lezinski, BCES – Mid-Atlantic

Our grant writing staff has extensive experience navigating funding opportunities as shown by our successful completion of countless funding projects. As this legislation moves closer to becoming law, we look forward to assisting with your project planning and prioritization needs.

William F. Finch III is a Transportation Engineer at B&L and President of the Syracuse Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


This article is from members of the Transportation Practice Area.

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