The Structure and Funding of the IIJA

iija

Grant writers, get ready.

On November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which provides the nation with much needed funding to update and improve our country’s infrastructure. Although most of that funding is dedicated to the reconstruction of roadways and bridges, there are some funds available for other types of projects you may want to complete. 

Applying for these grants may sound like a daunting and drawn-out process, but it isn’t if you use the right resources and partner with the right people. Continue reading below to learn more about IIJA funding and who you can contact for additional clarity.

What Is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the IIJA, is a bill President Joe Biden signed into office on November 15, 2021. The IIJA provides $973 billion over the course of five years from the fiscal year 2022 through the fiscal year 2026.

This bill also includes $550 billion in new investments for power and energy, public lands, environmental remediation, broadband and resilience, and all transportation modes.

Counties will play a massive role in our country’s infrastructure and transportation network. All of these counties collectively own and operate 38% of bridges and 44% of public roads, which is more than any government level. At the same time, these counties directly support thirty-four percent of airports and seventy-eight percent of public transit systems which keep all Americans connected. 

Federal Agency Funding

The IIJA bill makes funds available to many different federal government agencies through the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of the Interior. 

Other departments where funding is available:

  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • U.S. Department of Commerce

This new law distributes funding in one of three different ways, including authorizations of contract authority from the federal Highway Trust Fund. It is also through the United States Treasury’s advanced appropriations from the General Fund and authorizations of appropriations. 

New Infrastructure Investments

As mentioned earlier, 550 billion of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is for new investments. $284 billion of that funding is set to go to the United States Department of Transportation. 

Further breakdown of the IIJA Structure:

  • $73 billion for energy and power through the U.S. Department of Energy
  • $55 billion for water through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • $46 billion for resiliency through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • $284 billion for transportation through the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • $8.3 billion for the western water infrastructure through the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Agriculture/United States Forest Service
  • $65 billion for broadband through the U.S. Department of Commerce

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill directs 52% of the 550 billion towards improving the different modes of transportation.

A majority of this funding is reserved for bridges, highways, and roads:

  • $11 billion toward safety
  • $7.5 billion for electric buses
  • $110 billion towards bridges and roads
  • $17 billion towards electric vehicle chargers
  • $1 billion towards reconnecting communities
  • $25 billion for airports
  • $66 billion for rail work
  • $17 billion for waterways and ports
  • $66 billion for transit

Counties have the opportunity to access the law’s transportation funds through competitive grants or sub-allocations based on the state’s population. Funds are also available through federal formulas. 

How Much of the Funds Are Allocated to Each State?

Of all fifty states, the three top states to receive the most funding are New York, California, and Texas. The less populated states, such as Alaska and Montana, will receive more money per capita. 

Total estimated infrastructure bill allocations: (B=Billions)

  • Alabama – $7B
  • Alaska – $4.9B
  • Arizona – $7.3B
  • Arkansas – $5B
  • California – $44.6B
  • Colorado – $6.2B
  • Connecticut – $6B
  • Delaware – $2.4B
  • Florida – $19.1B
  • Georgia – $12.3B
  • Hawaii – $2.6B
  • Idaho – $3B
  • Illinois – $17.8B
  • Indiana – $8.8B
  • Iowa – $5.1B
  • Kansas – $3.8B
  • Kentucky – $6.5B
  • Louisiana – $7.3B
  • Maine – $2.4B
  • Maryland – $7.4B
  • Massachusetts – $9.3B
  • Michigan – $10.8B
  • Minnesota – $6.8B
  • Mississippi – $4.5B
  • Missouri – $9B
  • Montana – $3.9B
  • Nebraska – $3B
  • Nevada – $4B
  • New Hampshire – $2B
  • New Jersey – $13.5B
  • New Mexico – $3.7B
  • New York – $26.9B
  • North Carolina – $10.4B
  • North Dakota – $2.6B
  • Ohio – $12.8B
  • Oklahoma – $5.8B
  • Oregon – $5.4B
  • Pennsylvania – $17.8B
  • Rhode Island – $2.6B
  • South Carolina – $6.1B
  • South Dakota – $2.8B
  • Tennessee – $8B
  • Texas – $35.4B
  • Utah – $4B
  • Vermont – $2.2B
  • Virginia – $10.1B
  • Washington – $8.6B
  • West Virginia – $4.4B
  • Wisconsin – $7.3B
  • Wyoming – $2.6B

What Percentage of the Funds Are Competitive?

Based on formulas, a significant portion of the IIJA will be divided and handed out to local and federal governments. About $76.6 billion of the funds will be won through competitive grants. 

This means that about 39% of the five-year state funding goes towards competitive grants. Even though these grants are the minority, they make up the majority of the programs available. Local and state governments both have the opportunity to apply for these competitive grants. 

The split between available competitive and formula grants depends on the subject area. For example, safety, cybersecurity, and rail programs will likely be competitive, whereas water and broadband funding is formula-based.

How Can State Municipalities Compete for Funding?

With the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the focus now switched to IIJA implementation. Several different federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation, are responsible for implementing the law.

They also hold responsibility for administering billions of dollars in grants. To ensure that you get the best funding possible, municipalities should gather their plans for the financing opportunities offered by the IIJA. 

Three Ways to Receive IIJA Funds

There are three ways municipalities can access IIJA funds. Those three ways are: meeting the criteria for formula funding, applying for competitive grant opportunities, and receiving sub-allocations from the state. 

IIJA Application Process

Applying for a competitive grant through the IIJA may seem daunting and complicated, but it does not have to be. If you have not applied for grants before, the first thing you will want to do is take a look at your community’s goals. 

Review Your Community’s Goals

Instead of starting with specific projects, think about the goals your community wishes to accomplish. For example, suppose you want to first hone in on safety, which is the first goal of the Department of Transportation’s Strategic Framework. In that case, you can brainstorm several different ways to use technology to drive down injuries.

Another example would be to use enterprise asset management systems to improve safety by providing accurate data on how we track, assess, monitor, and detect defects related to infrastructure. 

Pick a Grant

Once you’ve figured out what project matches your community’s goals, you will need to research available grants that align with the project you have in mind. Before deciding on a grant program, make sure that it matches what the grant is looking to fund. There are so many new competitive grant programs available, so it is crucial that you pay attention to the details of who they consider eligible to apply. 

There is nothing worse than putting hours into an application you don’t qualify for because your project does not align with the eligible expenses or priorities. If there are grants you missed the deadline for, there is no need to worry. There are several other available grants that may fit your project’s needs. 

Be Specific

With the right grant in mind, it’s time to gather your team and draft up an overview of your community’s project. You will need to make a case for why your project is crucial.

Be sure to provide specific details on current safety issues or shortfalls that may arise if your project doesn’t get the chance. The intricate details in your project may make or break your application, so you will want to make sure you put as much relevant data and explanations as possible. Government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation won’t want to fund a project without a detailed plan. 

Additional Data

Most grant programs don’t outline what capital expenditures are eligible, so your team will need to make your case about what your project needs and the funding required. You can use a budget and project narrative to explain how technology supports the grant’s IIJA priorities, goals, and purpose, which is integral to the project and saves money and time.

Secure IIJA Funding

This large once-in-a-generation spending bill has millions upon billions of dollars allocated to local and state governments and municipalities to rebuild the roads and other critical infrastructure that this nation so desperately needs. America won’t be able to rebuild its infrastructure without the help of local and state governments, and this is where you come into play.

If you currently have a project requiring IIJA funding and need help with your application, contact us. Here at ACG, we are committed to helping you secure the funding your community deserves. 

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