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Industry News

Nov 16, 2021

The Infrastructure Bill and the AEC Industry

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, is the largest long-term investment into our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century.

Map of the United States Infrastructure Network

The Infrastructure Bill was signed into law on November 15, 2021, by President Joe Biden and allocates $550 billion of new funding over the next five years to improve our nation’s infrastructure network. This funding will help improve our nation’s core infrastructure priorities while also improving permitting for larger infrastructure projects, improving rural infrastructure development, and providing long-term spending that will improve economic efficiency and productivity. It goes without saying that it will have significant impacts on the AEC Industry by not only increasing funding to a previously significantly underfunded area, but it will also create countless new jobs across the industry.

Core Funding Areas of the Infrastructure Bill:

  • $110 Billion — Roads, Bridges, & major projects – This funding provides the reauthorization of the EPW-Surface Transportation Bill, establishes a dedicated grant program to replace and repair bridges, provides increased funding for the major project competitive grant programs, and preserves the 90/10 split for federal highway aid to states.
  • $66 Billion — Passenger and Freight Rail – The Passenger and Freight Rail funding will provide the necessary capital to address the infrastructure needs of the US Rail Network. It will also help fund new service locations for Amtrak’s National Network, the repair of the Northeast Corridor which was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy and provide increased funding safety improvements.
  • $11 Billion — Safety and Research – Funding to address the safety requirements of our nation’s infrastructure network through various agencies and research programs.
  • $39.2 Billion — Public Transit – The Department of Transportation estimates the national transit system’s repair backlog to be 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems. This funding will go towards the maintenance and repair of that backlog.
  • $65 Billion — Broadband – In an effort to bridge the digital divide, the $65 billion in funding will go towards grants and programs to bring high-speed internet access to the 19 million Americans who currently lack access.
  • $25 Billion — Airports – This funding will provide Airport Improvement Grant Programs that will allow for the repair and development of taxiways, gates, and runways as well as a new Airport Terminal Improvement program for multimodal connections, concessions, and terminals.

The above numbers are a portion of the overall spend as they pertain to the laws funding initiatives. Each state has put together a detailed “fact sheet” that highlights what they plan to use the funding for. These fact sheets cover everything from the specific plans each state has for utilizing their funding to the dollar amount they expect to receive for each objective. These fact sheets can be reviewed on the Whitehouse’s website.

The goal of the infrastructure bill is to provide the necessary funding to improve our infrastructure network and make us more competitive on a global scale. Overall, the United States’ infrastructure ranks #13 globally according to the scores developed by the World Economic Forum.  The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide significant funding to increase our infrastructure network, increase jobs, and boost the economy.

NC Fact Sheet     VA Fact Sheet     SC Fact Sheet

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