Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - Progress to Date
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed by President Biden over a year ago, represents a transformative investment in America's infrastructure, marking a significant leap in the nation's progress towards repairing and modernizing its infrastructural capabilities. The law represents the largest investment in numerous areas, such as roads and bridges, public transit, passenger rail, clean water infrastructure, high-speed internet, environmental justice, power grid upgrades, resilience against climate change, and clean energy, including electric buses and a national network of EV chargers. It also aims to create jobs, boost American manufacturing, and improve the quality of life for citizens through various projects.
Galvanized steel has played a critical role preserving our infrastructure in the past and will undoubtedly play a large role in the future. The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) has built a website to show hot-dip galvanized (HDG) steel performance protecting existing infrastructure projects while providing states/provinces, counties, cities and engineers working on new infrastructure projects with resources to assist in easy specification, design, and inspection of HDG steel.
The following article summarizes BIL progress thus far and provides links to resources the government has developed to showcase its results.
Progress and Achievements
Since the last State of the Union address, remarkable progress has been made under this law. Over 3,700 bridge repair and replacement projects have been initiated across the country, along with the repair of over 69,000 miles of roadway. Additionally, funding has been awarded for over 3,000 new clean transit and school buses, and enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program has surpassed 16 million households. State plans for water funding, EV charging networks, and high-speed internet deployment have also been approved. The White House website has published an interactive map to illustrate the scope and impact the BIL is having on communities across the country.
Funding and Projects Overview
The implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is now hitting its stride with $306 billion already pumped into state coffers and direct investment projects. Competitive grantmaking is steadily increasing, with 80% of all competitive funding yet to be awarded. The approach is geared towards enabling communities of all sizes to rebuild and reimagine their infrastructure.1
The White House has emphasized data transparency, showcasing detailed award data and providing state-by-state fact sheets to outline progress across all 50 states, DC, and the territories as of October 31, 2023.
Challenges: Economic & Labor Implications
The demand for skilled labor is expected to increase as more states and localities commence their federally funded projects. This will likely lead to higher bargaining power for workers in construction and utilities sectors. However, challenges like inflation and higher interest rates might affect the number of projects that can be constructed using the IIJA funds.
Despite economic challenges, there's a continued commitment to implementing the law, with further awards anticipated for various projects like passenger rail corridors, street safety improvements, sewer management, and digital equity enhancement directed to states, Tribes, territories, and local governments, with thousands of specific recipients and projects identified for funding. This funding is expected to reach communities across the country, including rural areas and historically underserved populations.
Significant strides have been made in revitalizing and upgrading the United States' infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. As the implementation continues, the impacts of these investments are likely to be felt more broadly across various sectors and communities.