On November 15, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). BIL makes historic and generational investments in America’s aging infrastructure and around important issues like climate change, clean energy, energy innovation, and expanded broadband access. Just a month after BIL became law, the federal government has already made several announcements concerning implementation and funding.
On November 30, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched a new website that will serve as a “one-stop shop” for transportation agencies, communities, and stakeholders to learn about BIL. It includes how to apply for grants and discretionary funding made available under BIL. The website will undoubtedly be a critical tool going forward.
On December 15, the FHWA announced it is providing $52.5 billion in BIL funding through the Federal-aid Highway Program. According to the FHWA, the funding represents a 20% increase from FY21 and “will help reduce the backlog of major repairs for highways and bridges and increase the number of communities that have strategies to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries.” State-specific apportionments of the annual formula funding are available here.
On December 16, the FHWA issued a policy that will guide funding for other programs administered by the FHWA. These include “legacy apportioned programs” like the National Highway Performance Program and the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program and its Transportation Alternatives set-aside. They also include new programs created by BIL, such as the Bridge Investment Program, National Electric Vehicle Charging Program, Carbon Reduction Program, and Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost saving Transportation (PROTECT) grant program. The policy highlights the following investments and projects which align with BIL and will be prioritized:
- improve the condition, resilience and safety of road and bridge assets consistent with asset management plans (including investing in preservation of those assets);
- promote and improve safety for all road users, particularly vulnerable users;
- make streets and other transportation facilities accessible to all users and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
- address environmental impacts ranging from stormwater runoff to greenhouse gas emissions;
- prioritize infrastructure that is less vulnerable and more resilient to a changing climate;
- future-proof our transportation infrastructure by accommodating new and emerging technologies like electric vehicle charging stations, renewable energy generation, and broadband deployment in transportation rights-of-way;
- reconnect communities and reflect the inclusion of disadvantaged and under-represented groups in the planning, project selection and design process; and
- direct federal funds to their most efficient and effective use, consistent with these objectives.
Also on December 16, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $2.89 billion in funding made available under BIL. The awards are for investments in runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, and terminal, airport-transit connections, and roadway projects at 3,075 airports across the U.S. Airports in all 50 states and five territories will receive funding. The awards make up the FY22 funding from the Airport Infrastructure Grant program, which is one of three new programs created by BIL for aviation infrastructure. BIL provides $15 billion for the Airport Infrastructure Grant program. More information about the program and the FY22 awards is available here.
FBT will continue to provide periodic updates on the federal government’s implementation of BIL. To learn how to take advantage of BIL’s historic spending for infrastructure improvement and expansion, contact Jonathan Miller (Government Services, Manufacturing); Nolan Jackson (Manufacturing); Tom Gabelman (Construction, Public-Private Partnerships); Kelly Schulz (Mobility & Transportation, Logistics); or Warren Hoffman (Energy, Renewables).
For more information about Key Programs and Provisions in BIL, please read our prior advisory on the topic.