When the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law in November of 2021, it promised generational investment in the infrastructure of the US.

$850 billion in IIJA funding is already working its way to state and local governments so they can begin the projects that strengthen and improve the US infrastructure.

The IIJA boasts hefty goals and a hefty price tag. The key to its success is cutting past all the red tape and getting the money into the hands of governments that can put it into action.

Read on to learn more about this transformative bill, its projected impact, and how to get funding from the bill.

What Is the  Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)?

Infrastructure Investment

The IIJA, proposed and pushed by President Joe Biden, became a bipartisan infrastructure bill looking to invest in and improve transportation and infrastructure.

The bills reach plans to address areas of need, including:

  • Rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails
  • Expand access to clean drinking water
  • Ensure access to high-speed internet
  • Address the climate crisis
  • Work towards environmental justice
  • Invest in communities

In addition to the $350 million set aside for federal highway expansion and improvements, a large chunk of the funds is already allocated for state use. Additional goals are to get as much of the funds as possible into other state and local government projects.

Goals of the IIJA

There are some specific goals attached to the infrastructure investment.

More specifically, the bill designates the IIJA to work towards the following:

  • Get clean water to all American families
  • Eliminate lead water lines
  • Build infrastructure, so every American has access to reliable high-speed internet
  • Rebuild and repair as-needed bridges and roads across the US
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All program to reduce the excessive number of traffic fatalities
  • Improve America’s public transportation infrastructure
  • Upgrade airports and ports to address major problems with the supply chain
  • Invest in major upgrades for passenger rail across the US
  • Create a national network of electric vehicle chargers
  • Improve the power structure to work towards a zero-emissions future
  • Improve infrastructure to withstand climate change, weather, and cyber attacks
  • Tackle legacy pollution

While the goals are lofty, funding is in place to tackle them‚ÄĒthe IIJA projects creating 1.5 million jobs through infrastructure work over the next ten years.

IIJA Programs

All the IIJA funds have been broken down to what area of improvement they should go. The funding will get directed toward spending over five years.

The funds have been directed for spending in three types:

  • Money from the Highway Trust Fund, which essentially gives agencies real money to spend over the five years
  • Guaranteed appropriations that will either create new programs or bolster existing funding
  • General funds that are authorized to be spent but require future action by the appropriations committees

Here’s the breakdown of funds by category of infrastructure:

  • $111 billion for roads, bridges, and related programs
  • $650 billion in previously passed transportation spending
  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail
  • $107.5 for energy, power, and electric grid reliability
  • $55 billion for water and wastewater reliability
  • $65 billion for broadband
  • $25 billion for airports
  • $39.20 billion for public transportation
  • $21 billion to clean up abandoned sites
  • $23.3 billion for natural disaster prevention and mitigation
  • $11 billion for highway and pedestrian safety
  • $16.7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers
  • $7.8 billion for Coast Guard and ports
  • $10.11 for cybersecurity infrastructure

The key is a careful distribution of funds so the funds get to local communities where they can have a big impact.

Expectations for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Decision Making

In addition to getting the bill passed through Congress and signed into law, the White House has specific and tangible goals for its implementation.

The American people need to know that every effort is being made to avoid wasteful spending and have measurable outcomes.

Through the White House, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued implementation guidance to ensure accountable stewardship of the IIJA.

Jobs Act

Let’s take a quick look at the guidance they created.

Data and Evidence

When designing programs related to the IIJA, all agencies need to make evidence-based decisions. They expect to:

  • Transparently describe criteria for investment decisions
  • Set measurable goals and then track them
  • Use performance indicators
  • Use data to measure and evaluate progress

The end goal should be continuous infrastructure improvement.

Planning and Program Implementation

Agencies are charged with efficiently implementing all programs. The implementation should include:

  • Consistent with statutory requirements
  • Address the requirements, recommendations, and priorities in the¬† Executive Order and the new OMB guidance

The planning also needs to include financial management and risk mitigation strategies.

Documenting Criteria and Selection

Agencies implementing programs are expected to document their review and selection process. These processes must be consistent with the criteria, review, and selection information provided with the program goals.

Reporting on Awards

Agencies must report on USAspending.gov the awards going out and maintain up-to-date information on information about obligations and outlays.

They’re also expected to do¬†post-award reporting to¬†demonstrate progress toward achieving outcomes.

IIJA Guidebook

One thing the White House did was release a Guidebook on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The document breaks down available monies and contains resources to help jurisdictions prepare to receive the money from the bill.

IIJA Guidebook

This Guidebook also contains other links for information on other partner programs and additional fact sheets.

You can also visit Acgadvocacy.com for guidance and support in applying for funds from the IIJA.

Impact of the IIJA Funding

The impact that $1.2 trillion of IIJA funding can have on the infrastructure and economy in the US is profound. The key is doing everything possible to get the money moving so the improvements can actually happen.

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