How can local and state governments across the country identify and secure funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)? What funding is available and how can localities get the information and guidance needed to access to funds for their priority projects?
Hopes are high that priority infrastructure efforts, many of which have long lingered on to do lists, are going to be transformative in towns and cities across the country. The construction industry is gearing up, leveraging technology and trying out new approaches to recruit and retain the diverse labor force needed. While some high profile projects, including highways, bridges and rails in the New York-New Jersey region, are likely to get underway relatively soon, implementation support is needed so that localities across the country can put federal dollars to work. Towards that end, The White House has issued a “one-stop-shop” Guidebook. This resource breaks down the 375 programs included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and provides links to resources and contacts for further information and technical assistance. As Construction Dive reports:
The federal government will distribute the $1.2 trillion in IIJA funds through new and existing programs. So far, more than $80 billion has been allocated to states for roads and highways, bridges, ports, airports and water systems, according to the release. Additional programs are being rolled out for high-speed internet, electric vehicle chargers and energy grid upgrades. However, a community’s lack of capacity to apply for federal funds can create and amplify inequities, the White House acknowledged in a press release about the new guidance. The document is one effort to help address this gap, and the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team will also be reaching out to jurisdictions, federal agencies and philanthropies to offer technical assistance.
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Many U.S. ports have been in dire need of building so that they can receive the larger ships—and put a dent in our supply chain challenges. Ambitious improvements are already underway in many port cities, including Baltimore, to alleviate congestion. Hopes are high that the $17 billion allocation for ports in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will contribute to increased cargo flow in other ports across the country soon. The Soo Locks System in Michigan is overdue for attention too—and Pittsburgh’s Bridges can’t be overlooked much longer either. Though the list is long, work, funded through a variety of agencies is getting underway. For example, Construction Dive reports that $241 million in grants from the United States Maritime Administration Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) have already been allocated for 25 port projects in 19 states. This funding stream is anticipated to continue flowing over the next several years.
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