Federal leaders have at last passed a long-sought, bipartisan infrastructure package.
Here’s what the IIJA means for America:
$1.2 Trillion total spending
$550 billion in new spending:
$284 billion for surface transportation improvements
$266 for enhancing core infrastructure
Investments will go to 5 key areas:
Agency programs and operations
Grants calculated by a formula
Federal Highway Trust Fund
$351B Federal Highway Administration – 5 years of funding (35% increase)
$27.5B New formulated based FHWA bridge program via advanced General Fund appropriations
- 75% goes to state share of total cost replacing “poor” bridges
- 25% going to replace “fair” bridges
- $45M minimum per state per year
$5B Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
- Spurs the creation of a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, including a special program for smaller and underserved communities
- $69.9B for existing formula projects
- $21.3B for new projects
$12B Highway Safety
$66B Passenger Rail
- Advance general fund appropriations
- Amtrak, CRISI, fed-state partnerships
- Nearly cuts in half the $43.6 billion backlog of airport modernization and safety projects identified by the FAA
- Replaces up to 100 control towers at regional and municipal airports across the U.S. in the next decade
Existing Grant Programs
- RAISE/BUILD/TIGER $7.5B
- INFRA $3.2B
- CRISI $5B
New Grant Programs
- Bridge investment $9.2B
- Natural infrastructure project assistance $5B
- Safe streets
- Culvert removal
Roads and Bridges
- Reduces the backlog for major repairs for highways and bridges by almost 20 percent
- Fixes up to 10 of the most economically significant bridges in the nation, repairs over 15,000 smaller bridges across the country
Water Infrastructure $55B:
Most of these in revolving loan funds
- $42B Broadband equity, access, and deployment, administered via NTIA
- $100M minimum to states – the rest is allocated by formula after FCC maps are done (priority on unserved, then underserved areas)
- $1B for “middle-mile” infrastructure
- $2.75B Digital Equity Act (digital inclusion and grants for non-profits)
- $21.5B for clean energy demonstrations and research hubs
- $750M for new grant program to support energy manufacturing projects in coal communities
- $7B grants for the supply chain for batteries and battery storage
- $1.5B for clean hydrogen manufacturing and advancing recycling programs
- $6B in tax credits for existing nuclear plants and $700 for existing hydropower facilities
- $11B for grid modernization
- $11B for mine reclamation fund
- $3.5B for weatherization
- $5B for EPA to replace school buses with electric school buses
Simplifying Permitting to Accelerate Project Delivery:
If adopted by states, the IIJA would help reduce project delays and improve project delivery by:
- Establishing a two-year limit for environmental review (shot clock) (knocks off ~2.5 years for most projects)
- Improving coordination between agencies by designating a lead agency and a single, joint environmental document
- Limiting EISs to 200 pages (average document size is currently 1,700 pages)
- Promote use of categorical exclusions for projects without significant environmental effects
Minority Owned Business Opportunities:
Provides a historic opportunity for minority-owned businesses in the U.S. to help modernize America’s infrastructure networks
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
- Codifies the agency – increasing funding and reach
- Expands geographic reach and scope
- US Chamber will organize events to reach out to communities and educate firms about opportunities
Economic Mobility/Supply Chain Resilience:
- Doubles investments in ports to help alleviate bottlenecks and increase sustainability
- Strengthens supply chains by investing almost $50 billion in our ports and airports on top of expanding existing programs that support freight investment across modes
Is a forward-thinking, sustainable statewide transportation funding strategy important to your North Carolina business? Then join the NC Chamber and the job creators on our Destination 2030 Coalition and help us urge North Carolina’s leaders to advance a 21st century transportation funding strategy in 2022.
What does the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act mean for North Carolina?
On Dec. 9, 2021, the NC Chamber hosted state and federal policy leaders and infrastructure experts for a virtual conversation, “What the Infrastructure Bill Means for NC.” You can access the recording of this webinar here and read more details about the IIJA’s impacts on our state below.
- Roads and bridges: North Carolina could receive $7.2 billion for highway programs and another $457 million for bridge replacement and repairs through congressional funding formulas. North Carolina can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of NEW national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
- Public Transportation: The state could receive $911 million to improve public transit options.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Network: The state could receive $109 million over the next five years to expand an EV charging network. The state could also apply for some of the $2.5 billion in grant funding for EV charging that is included in the bill.
- Broadband: North Carolina would get at least $100 million (a minimum) to support additional broadband development throughout the state.
- Airports: The state will receive $460 million for infrastructure developments at our airports.
- Climate: North Carolina will get $32 million for protection against wildfires and is eligible for the $3.5 billion in federal funds for weatherization included in the bill.
- Cybersecurity: $27 million
- Water Infrastructure: $1.1 billion
How can you keep up to date with the implementation of the IIJA? Passing the bill was just the first step. It’s up to leaders here in North Carolina to make sure that the bill is implemented and our communities reap our full allotment of the $550B in new spending created in the bill.
President Biden has offered six priorities for implementation:
- Invest public dollars efficiently, avoid waste, and focus on measurable outcomes for the American people
- Buy American and increase the competitiveness of the U.S. economy
- Create good-paying job opportunities for Americans
- Invest public dollars equitably
- Build resilient infrastructure
- Effectively coordinate with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments
The following resources should help you to stay up-to-date on implementation:
- U.S. DOT, North Carolina Fact Sheet
- Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Bill Text
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Implementation Outline
- AASHTO IIJA Summary