Bipartisan infrastructure bill: Update on available funding

Bipartisan infrastructure bill: Update on available funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (officially known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), sometimes abbreviated as “BIL” or “IIJA,” was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in November 2021 and provides substantial investment in transportation and other priorities. Here’s a closer look at some of its key elements.

The bill provides $550 billion in new funding to help current and future generations, such as spending for roads, bridges, and public transit; a major expansion of high-speed internet; and funding for clean drinking water. It also includes new measures to address climate change, like modernizing the power grid and money for electric vehicles. Current funding opportunities are being rolled out in 2022 with the new funding made available by the bill.

A focus on transportation 

With new federal spending, the bill focuses mostly on immediate infrastructure projects. While project targets are diverse, the bill is described as “the largest federal investment in public transit in history.” Here are the areas that would get major new spending.

Transportation infrastructure (new funding of $304B): 

  • $110B for roads, bridges, and major projects 
  • $66B for passenger and freight rail 
  • $39.2B for public transit 
  • $25B for airports 
  • $20B for infrastructure financing 
  • $16.6B for ports and waterways 
  • $11B for safety 
  • $7.5B for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
  • $7.5B for electric buses/transit/ferries 

Current transportation funding highlights (includes new BIL funds and prior authorizations):  

Highways, roads, and bridges

  • Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for Highways, $273B over five years
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, $72B over five years
  • Bridge Investment Program for repair and replacement of bridges, $40B over five years
  • National Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Program (INFRA), $10.9B over five years
  • Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program, $2B over five years
  • Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant Program, $500M over five years
  • Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, $350M over five years
  • New Competitive Grant Program to Address Threats to Pedestrians, $25M over five years
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program, $1B over five years

Rail

  • Competitive Grant Program for Infrastructure “Mega Projects,” $10B over five years
  • Competitive Grant Program to Eliminate At-Grade Crossings, $2.5B over five years
  • Direct Flexible Grant Program (formerly BUILD/TIGER), $7.5B over five years
  • Culvert removal, Replacements and Restoration Grant Program, $4B over five years 
  • Expanded Eligibility under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program, $5B over five years
  • Extend Restoration and Enhancement Grant Program, $250M over five years
  • Reform and Rename the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program, $7.5B over five years

Transit

  • Highway Trust Fund (HTF) authority for Mass Transit, $69.9B over five years
  • Changes to Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program, $15B over five years
  • Supplemental Appropriations for Certain Transit Infrastructure Grants, $10.25B over five years
  • All Stations Accessibility Program, $1.75B over five years

Airports 

  • Airport Infrastructure Grant Program, $15B over five years
  • “Groundside” Competitive Grant Program for Airport Improvements, $5B over five years

Ports 

  • Increased Funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, $2,25B over five years

Other

  • Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program, $500M over five years

Other infrastructure spending 

The bill also takes action on crucial non-transportation infrastructure spending. 

Non-transportation infrastructure (new funding of $261B): 

  • $73B for power and grid infrastructure
  • $65B for broadband infrastructure
  • $55B for water infrastructure 
  • $46B for resiliency projects 
  • $21B for environmental remediation  
  • $8.3B for western water storage   

Current funding highlights (includes new BIL funding and prior authorizations):  

Energy and power

  • Electric Grid Resiliency Competitive Grant Program, $5B over five years
  • Weatherization Assistance Program, $3.5B in FY 2022
  • Modernizing Energy Infrastructure Competitive Grant Program, $3B over five years
  • Grants to State and Local Governments for Battery Processing, $3B over five years
  • Energy Efficiency in Public Schools, $500M over five years
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, $440M in FY 2022
  • Resources for County Owned or Operated Hydroelectric Facilities, $628.6M in FY 2022

Restoration

  • Brownfields Restoration Projects, $1.2B over five years

Climate

  • Carbon Reduction Formula Program, $6.5B over five years
  • Carbon Utilization Grant Program, $310M over five years
  • Charging and Fueling Infrastructure, $2.5B over five years
  • Carbon Dioxide Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (CIFIA) Program, $2.1B over five years
  • Protect Grant Program, $1.4B over five years
  • Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities, $250M over five years
  • Healthy Streets Program, $500M over five years

Public lands

  • Wildfire Risk Mitigation, $5.5B over five years
  • U.S. Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails, $250M over five years

Water

  • State Revolving Loan Funds for Water, $29.3B over five years

Broadband

  • Grants to States for Broadband Deployment, $42.45B in FY 2022
  • “Middle Mile” Competitive Grants to Facilitate Broadband Deployment, $1B over five years
  • Competitive Grant Program for Broadband, $1.25B over five years

Resilience

  • Safeguarding Tomorrow Through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act Funding, $500M over five years
  • Funding the Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program, $1B over five years
  • Funding for Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants, $3.5B over five years

Environmental compliance 

While the bill includes substantial funding for infrastructure projects, projects must go through environmental compliance—such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—and permitting to be realized.

The bill includes the following requirements:

One Federal Document

  • Requires single NEPA document for major projects with exceptions

Time limits for major projects 

  • Average of two years for environmental review from either: a) issuance of notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS); or b) the date on which it is determined an environmental assessment is required leading to a finding of no significant impact
  • Federal agency can lengthen or shorten schedule for good cause
  • Federal permits issued no later than 90 days after the record of decision

Page limits 

  • Establishes a limit of 200 pages for an EIS
  • Federal agency can establish a different page limit at their discretion for individual projects

Categorical exclusions

  • Requires Secretary of Transportation to identify categorical exclusions
  • Provides process for certain federal agencies to adopt categorical exclusions from other agencies 

Our team is familiar with the often complex process of environmental reviews including completing NEPA compliance for large infrastructure projects on accelerated timelines.

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Meet the authors
  1. Brian Calvert, Senior Managing Director, Environmental Planning

    Brian’s experience includes managing the planning and environmental work associated with a number of projects. He specializes in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis for projects involving the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Caltrans. View bio

  2. Rich Walter, Vice President, Environmental Planning

    Rich has over three decades of experience in environmental planning, climate action planning, compliance strategy, permitting, and mitigation development and implementation for private and public sector clients.  View bio

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