The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is designed to change how we view infrastructure. The bill, which was signed into law this week, includes major investments in roads and bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, ports, aviation, rail, broadband, electric grid, sustainable infrastructure, and greenhouse gas reduction.
The engineering and construction industries have been stressing the importance of addressing our country’s infrastructure deficiencies for the past ten years, and this $1.2 trillion bipartisan legislation will help eliminate bridges in poor condition, improve mobility and extend the life cycle of our infrastructure.
Members of over a dozen infrastructure advocacy groups led by ASCE, ARTBA, ACEC, AASHTO, AIAI, IBTTA, APTA, APWA, ITS America and DBIA, worked tirelessly to educate Congress and the public about the role infrastructure plays in driving our economy, improving quality of life, and the sustainability of our communities. In direct testimony to congress, these organizations expounded the importance of this bill, provided strong evidence of the need for increased investment in infrastructure and how the investment is returned in creating well-paid jobs. RS&H associates serve in active leadership roles in each of these organizations and through thought leadership, advocacy, and a passion for the increased sustainability of our communities, we espouse the opportunities that this new legislation affords us.
This new legislation is also unique in that it represents historic investments that exceed past infrastructure funding and covers more categories of infrastructure than past surface transportation investments. There will be new programs created that will change the way we design, operate and program our future infrastructure projects. These new programs will drive increased innovative thinking and vision into the design process, highlighting areas where RS&H can provide added value in support of our public agency clients.
The bill provides a comprehensive five-year program that provides increased funding for a broad range of public infrastructure, such as:
Core funding of road and bridge programs for every state department of transportation
A new bridge replacement, rehabilitation, preservation and protection program
Supplemental funding for transit
State allocations to help fund broadband expansion
Funding for major USACE civil works programs
Supplementary programs to fund aviation
Funding programs to address GHG reduction
Expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Grant programs to incentivize private investment in renewable energy
Because the bill is a first of its kind, the agencies overseeing these programs are still crafting the guidance for its implementation. The legislation provides funding to extend the core transportation programs that provide the federal share of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) of every state to implement their capital improvement programs. But because of the diversity of the bill’s programs, every region, state, public agency, county and city are likely to benefit from this legislation. This new five-year bill goes well beyond just supporting infrastructure. The IIJA was designed to improve the functionality of our infrastructure, protect the environment, improve resilience and sustainability, increase mobility, and create jobs.
RS&H is extremely pleased to see that this signature piece of legislation is formally in place. We now look forward to assisting our public agency clients in delivering on their goals and objectives!
Additional resources, details and information related to the specific federal programs included in the IIJA legislation can be found at the following websites: