The Lesser-Known Programs in the Infrastructure Bill

While the focus has been on flashier components of the infrastructure bill, some smaller initiatives could have outsized impacts by shifting priorities and funding resilience efforts.

January 23, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


U.S. Capital

Jeri Bland / Shutterstock

In Governing, Ben Miller describes some of the more obscure items in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which, while not in the spotlight, could have significant impacts on the country's infrastructure.

These include:

  • A national road-use charge pilot program, which would shift revenue for road maintenance and repairs from a gas tax, which is imperiled by the rise of electric vehicles, with a tax based on miles driven.
  • A pilot program to study transportation access designed to identify how people in transit-poor areas get around and what infrastructure projects could provide more equitable access to safe transportation. According to Miller, "this kind of work could mean shifting the conversation from car-focused searches for bottlenecks to mobility-focused searches for public need."
  • Grants to fund capacity-building for small water agencies, which would fund the purchase of asset management software, GIS, and other tools for gathering data as part of an effort to help water systems identify issues and needs as droughts intensify.
  • The creation of several "stormwater centers of excellence" at universities or institutions aimed at studying stormwater management and implementing new strategies for flood prevention and mitigation.
  • A new commission charged with finding wildfire management solutions that can be implemented to fight increasingly destructive fires.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Governing

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Puente Hills Landfill as seen from the air

More Funds to Transform the Puente Hills Landfill into a Regional Park

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved an additional $28 million to support the development of the Puente Hills Regional Park at the landfill site.

May 23 - Supervisor Hilda Solis

Denver, Colorado

Denver Freeway Widening Plans on Hold

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the Interstate 25 freeway through Denver is one of a few plans to widen urban freeways under consideration in the United States.

May 23 - The Colorado Sun

Fringe Development

Public Perceptions of Sprawl and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Urban density has a bad reputation.

May 23 - Greater Greater Washington

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.