President Biden has signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL). The IIJA is a massive investment in roads, bridges, and water pipes, and when combined with the President’s Build Back Better Framework, is estimated to add an average of 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years. About $550 billion of the $1.2 trillion law is new spending which will be spread out over five (5) years.
The IIJA will create and award new formula and competitive grant programs and bolster existing competitive grant funding programs.
While information about these programs and funding streams has not been finalized, it is imperative that you begin planning to apply for and manage this funding now to ensure you are prepared to implement your community’s projects as soon as possible.
The bill allocates new funding for a wide range of projects, including road repairs, high-speed internet services, green infrastructure funding, and investments in electric charging stations and public transit. The IIJA has allocated:
- $110 billion for repairing roads and bridges
- $66 billion for passenger and freight rails to modernize existing lines and expand lines to new geographic areas
- $65 billion for expanding broadband access to areas that do not currently have reliable access
- $65 billion to update the electric grid
- $55 billion for water and wastewater (replacing lead pipes, improving drinking water quality, etc.)
- $39 billion for repairing and modernizing existing public transit lines
- $25 billion for airports
- $17 billion for ports and waterways
- $7.5 billion to establish a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers
- $1 billion for reconnecting communities that have been separated by previous infrastructure projects
The Act will also have a major impact on local government funding, and many new and existing grant programs will receive a boost. The IIJA:
- Increases the number of competitive grant opportunities for transportation projects the U.S. Department of Transportation
- Provides $1 billion for Federal Emergency Management through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program
- Fully funds the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act which will allow state and local governments to utilize low interest loans for pre-disaster mitigation and planning
- Increases funding for the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA) grant program
- Establishes the PROTECT Grant Program which adds $1 billion each year for competitive grants and $4 billion in formula funding over five years
- Creates a new competitive grant program to enhance the electrical grid
- Creates a new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program to promote technological innovation
- Allocates funds to the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, which would make grants to states and then competitively award recipients for qualifying broadband infrastructure, mapping, and adoption projects
- Creates new State and Local Cybersecurity grant programs including competitive grants for rural electric cooperative or county-owned utilities through the Department of Energy
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the funding opportunities that will be available thanks to the IIJA. Because of the multiple ways these funding streams will be allocated, awarded, and managed, significant coordination between funders, recipients, and subrecipients will be required, which is why states, tribes, and local governments should start getting prepared to apply for or manage this funding today.
If you’re looking for resources that can help you write a competitive grant application, turn a proposed project into a working project plan, or even get advice on how to ensure you are allocating your awarded funding in an equitable way, we have resources for you.
*Photo by metamorworks on Canva
Topics: Industry News