The American Public Works Association today applauded members of Congress for fully funding the first year of the bipartisan infrastructure measure President Biden signed into law last fall.
The president signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law Nov. 15 but much of its promised $1.2 trillion could not be made available until Congress approved an appropriation for the measure, which it accomplished this week.
“Now that IIJA has been funded, public works departments throughout America can finally get to work repairing, upgrading or replacing aging highways, roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems,” said APWA CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE. “We are so pleased that communities all over the U.S. will now receive funding for much needed repairs and upgrades to their infrastructure systems, which will not only improve the quality of their lives but protect them as well.”
“Finally getting IIJA fully funded is transformational,” said APWA President Stan Brown, PE, PWLF. “In addition to large investment in our roads and bridges, IIJA has money for rail, transit, and many of the things American communities need to make our country work better.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act adds $559 billion to the federal government’s average annual investment of $650 billion and addresses APWA’s public policy priorities for surface transportation reauthorization, water resiliency, and emergency management, including:
- Reauthorizing the primary federal aid highway programs and increasing overall spending $273.2 billion over 5 years,
- Codifying elements of the “one federal decision” policy to require agencies to coordinate reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects and sets a goal for completing environmental reviews within two years,
- $11 billion for road safety,
- $7.3 billion for the new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program to make infrastructure more resilient to storms and natural disasters,
- $55 billion towards water and wastewater infrastructure,
- $5 billion to the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water grant program to deal with emerging contaminants,
- $1 billion in grant program (FY2022 through FY2025) to help states, tribal or multistate governments address cybersecurity threats, and
- $3.5 billion for the National Flood Insurance Fund for flood mitigation assistance.