The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Breakdown

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is a five-year, $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill that was signed into law in November 2021. The bipartisan IIJA marks the country’s largest investment in infrastructure across all Report Card categories in nearly a century.

This legislation is the culmination of decades of advocacy by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) members. We worked tirelessly to educate Congress about the role infrastructure plays in supporting the economy and our quality of life. 

This bill includes investments to repair and modernize these critical assets for all 17 categories in the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

that assigned our nation’s infrastructure a cumulative grade of ‘C-‘. 

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Roads, Bridges, and Transit in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The IIJA, commonly known as the bipartisan infrastructure law, reauthorizes surface transportation programs with a 34% increase over previous levels. The law provides approximately  $500 billion for roads and bridge programs in communities across America.

Twenty-one new DOT grant programs are making targeted investments to repair bridges, improve the resiliency of our surface transportation system, and more. Funds go a long way towards addressing the $1.2 trillion, 10-year surface transportation funding gap that ASCE identified in the 2021 Report Card.

The infrastructure bill also contains approximately $90 billion in investment for transit programs in urban and rural regions. Transit systems across America – from rural bus service in Wyoming to the aging T system in Boston – will receive support to replace buses, build bus stops, replace tracks, and more.

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Drinking Water and Wastewater in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Our nation’s drinking water system is made up of 2.2 million miles of underground pipes that, unfortunately, are aging and sometimes past the end of their service lives. 

The 2021 ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave drinking water a C-, wastewater a D+, and stormwater a D grade. The Infrastructure Investment ad Jobs Act provides $55 billion to upgrade water infrastructure and replace lead service lines throughout the country – a necessity to ensure our communities continue receiving, safe reliable drinking water. 

Meanwhile, 81% of our 16,000 wastewater treatment plants are nearing capacity – 15% have already reached capacity. Wastewater infrastructure financing provided by the bipartisan infrastructure law will help rehabilitate and replace sewage pipes and add capacity to the system in areas that currently rely on septic systems for wastewater services. 

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Ports & Inland Waterways in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Our port infrastructure in this country is generally in good condition and earned a B- in the 2021 Report Card. Still, supply chain constraints show the importance of investing in capacity as freight volumes increase. Meanwhile, Inland Waterways earned a D+ in 2021, and much of the system is operating past its intended lifespan. 

The IIJA provides $17 billion of investment in inland waterways and ports. These investments will ease supply chain bottlenecks, add capacity to the freight system, facilitate the movement of goods, and improve air quality around freight nodes.

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Airports in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Many Americans have felt the discrepancy between air travel supply and air traveler demand in the form of flight delays and cancellations The bipartisan infrastructure law invests $25 billion in airports through three programs to modernize terminals, improve pavement conditions, and keep passengers and freight moving

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Energy in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

We gave America’s energy infrastructure a C- grade. We found it particularly vulnerable to severe weather. Over 90% of outages occurred on the energy distribution system – the last mile that brings electricity to your house or business.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act assigns  $73 billion to rebuild the electric grid and includes several provisions to reinforce the resilience of the electric grid. Specifically, there’s $5 billion over five years for projects, activities, technologies, equipment, and hardening measures that reduce the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events.

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Resiliency in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

With an investment of over $50 billion, the 2021 IIJA makes communities safer and more resilient to the impact of climate change and cyberattacks. This includes funds to protect against droughts and floods in addition to major investments in weatherization.

Investing in resiliency measures can improve our infrastructure. By taking a proactive approach and strengthening our built environment before a disaster hits, implementing and enforcing codes and standards, prioritizing safety and security, and enhancing natural or “green” infrastructures, we can make America’s infrastructure more reliable and resilient.

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