November 09, 2021

Breaking Down the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

On November 5, 2021, Congress passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Bill).1 The Bill includes $550 billion in new spending on infrastructure over the next five years.2 The Bill was initially passed by the Senate in August, but was stalled in the House of Representatives for months as House Democrats worked through disagreements over whether to tie the Bill to the passage of a larger climate and social spending package known as the Build Back Better Act.

According to White House representatives, the Bill, a signature component of President Biden’s economic agenda, marks the largest-ever federal investment in public transit, the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak and the largest bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system.3 White House representatives estimate the Bill will add approximately 2 million jobs per year over the next decade.4

The Bill calls for the repair of 20,000 miles of roads and 10 of the country’s most economically important bridges; modernization of public transit, including addressing the repair backlog of more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations and thousands of miles of track and power systems; removal of lead pipes to improve the quality of drinking water; expansion of the nation’s freight and passenger rail network, including the construction of new rail corridors and transit lines; reduction of commute times by alleviating rail and roadway congestion; extending broadband internet access to rural areas, low-income families and tribal communities; and enhancement of grant and loan programs that support passenger and rail safety.5

The Bill includes investments in the following areas:

Passenger and Freight Rail

The Bill allocates $66 billion to eliminate Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor and extend rail service outside of the northeast and mid-Atlantic.6 Specifically, the Bill calls for:

  • New and renovated corridors: $36 billion (up to two-thirds for Amtrak’s 457-mile-long Northeast Corridor)7
    • Three new Amtrak routes in eastern Pennsylvania could serve 1.3 million riders annually, with service starting an estimated 3 years after funding is secured
  • Amtrak grants: $22 billion8
  • Federal-State partnership for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail: $12 billion9
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI): $5 billion10
  • FRA Railroad Crossing Elimination Program: $3 billion11
  • Transit-oriented development planning funding: Starting with $13.16 million in 2022 and increasing to $14.43 million in 202612
  • State of Good Repair formula funding: Starting with $3.52 billion in funding in 2022 and increasing to $3.85 billion in 202613
  • Growing states and high-density states formula funding: Starting with $741 million in 2022 and increasing to $812.5 million in 202614
  • Low or No Emission Program competitive grants: $71.6 million in 2022 and increasing to $78.5 million in 202615

The Bill allows Congress to take additional action to invest another $36 billion for rail by 2026.16

Public Transit

The Bill allocates $39 billion to modernize transit, including repairing and upgrading bus and rail fleets and extending transit services to more communities.17

Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects

The Bill allocates $110 billion for roads, bridges and major projects, including $40 billion of funding for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation and $16 billion for major projects that would be too large or complex for traditional funding programs.18

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

The Bill includes $7.5 billion to invest in a national network of electric vehicle chargers.19

Electric Buses

The Bill includes $2.5 billion for zero emission buses, $2.5 billion in low emission buses and $2.5 billion for ferries.20

Airports, Ports and Waterways

The Bill provides $17 billion for port infrastructure and $25 billion in airport repairs, maintenance and emission and congestion reduction.21

Safety

The Bill provides $11 billion for transportation safety programs to reduce crashes and fatalities, with a particular focus on bicyclists and pedestrians.22

Power Infrastructure

The Bill designates $65 billion for upgrades to power infrastructure, research and development of transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and smart grid technologies.23

Reconnecting Communities

The Bill provides $1 billion to reconstruct street grids and other infrastructure as part of an effort to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure, such as highways.24

Water Infrastructure

The Bill allocates $50 billion to protect against droughts and floods and for investment in other weatherization to reduce the impact of climate change, including $3.5 billion in flood mitigation assistance grants.25

Drinking Water

The Bill allocates $55 billion to drinking water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure funding.26

High-Speed Internet

The Bill includes $65 billion to bring high-speed internet to every American through broadband infrastructure improvement and expansion, and by requiring service providers who receive federal funding to offer a low-cost plan, thereby improving price transparency and increasing competition.27

Environmental Remediation

The Bill includes $21 billion to remediate environmental hazards, including the clean-up of superfund and brownfield sites.28

Plan Funding

The Bill will be financed through a combination of funds, including repurposing unspent COVID-19 relief funds, unused federal unemployment insurance aid, imposing new superfund fees, and strengthening tax enforcement for cryptocurrencies.29 The Congressional Budget Office has concluded the Bill will add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.30

What’s Next?

Faegre Drinker’s infrastructure team is actively tracking the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and we will continue to monitor developments in this space. Keep an eye out for more updates and analysis — and for insights to help your organization identify opportunities and navigate next steps — as the Bill’s many infrastructure programs come to fruition.

  1. Kelsey Snell, The Senate Approves The $1 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill In A Historic Vote”, NPR, published August 10, 2021
  2. Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby, “Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill”, CNN, published November 5, 2021
  3. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  4. Id.
  5. Id.
  6. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  7. Yonah Freemark, Congress’s Infrastructure Plan Could Be a Major Step toward Improved Intercity Rail—But Long-Term Commitment and Targeted Investments Are Necessary to Build Ridership,” Urban Wire, published August 10, 2021
  8. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  9. Id.
  10. Mischa Wanek-Libman, Senate introduces bipartisan infrastructure bill - here are the transit highlights,” Mass Transit, published August 2, 2021
  11. Id.
  12. Id.
  13. Id.
  14. Id.
  15. Id.
  16. Yonah Freemark, Congress’s Infrastructure Plan Could Be a Major Step toward Improved Intercity Rail—But Long-Term Commitment and Targeted Investments Are Necessary to Build Ridership,” Urban Wire, published August 10, 2021
  17. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  18. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021; Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby, Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” CNN, published November 5, 2021
  19. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  20. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  21. Id.
  22. Id.
  23. Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby, Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” CNN, published November 5, 2021
  24. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  25. Id.
  26. Id.
  27. Id.; Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby, Here’s what’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” CNN, published November 5, 2021
  28. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  29. FACT SHEET: Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal,” The White House, published July 28, 2021
  30. “Senate Amendment 2137 to H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as Proposed on August 1, 2021,” Congressional Budget Office, published August 5, 2021
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