About $100 billion of funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has already been made available. The federal infrastructure dollars will go to states via a combination of formula and grant programs. Each state has been asked to name infrastructure coordinators and implementation support is underway.
With everyone eager to see progress on long awaited infrastructure builds in their regions, the wheels have started to turn on moving the federal funds to states. As CNN reports:
The White House said…that it has made about $100 billion available through a number of programs so far.Some of the money is distributed through what’s known as formula programs, which deliver funds directly to states, and some money is available through competitive grant programs that require state and local agencies to apply. Several funding programs have already launched, releasing billions of funds for highways, bridges and airports.
A formula funding program that will help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations was opened by the departments of Transportation and Energy earlier this month. It will make $615 million available this fiscal year and is set to disburse $5 billion over five years.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it will use $1 billion for the cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes region, with $200 million allocated for this year.
Amidst the buzz about the IIJA, industry experts remind state construction leaders not to overlook the $350 billion that last year’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocated for states and municipalities under categories such as water infrastructure, highways, broadband and workforce development. Estimates indicate that about $155 billion of ARP funds went to states in 2021, and the remaining funds will be distributed this year. Since states must use these funds by 2026, it’s anticipated that ARP dollars will continue to drive big infrastructure initiatives at the state level.
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State Level Action?
CNN notes that former New Orleans Mayor, Mich Landrieu, is now overseeing implementation of the IIJA and shares this update from him: “As soon as the states are ready, they can start. The answer is going to depend on how ready they are to move,” he said. Funneling the billions of dollars to the states is a heavy lift that requires coordination from several agencies on the federal level with state-level officials. In January, Landrieu asked the states to name their own infrastructure coordinator to help ease the process. Twenty-five have done so to date, he said.
To help communities across the country learn more about accessing the federal dollars, an“infrastructure school” webinar series has been set up by the administration, and a “one-stop-shop” Guidebook on the IIJA is now available from The White House.
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