One Year After the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The potential of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is most unrealized as the federal government mobilizes the details of the $1.2 trillion bill. President Joe Biden signed the bill in November 2021.

Read Time: 2 minutes

November 28, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Construction Industry

Michele Lynn jasen / Shutterstock

Writing for Route Fifty, Kery Murakami checks in with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a year after the historic $1.2 trillion bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. On one hand, reports Kurakami, local officials tout the bill’s potential to improve long-neglected infrastructure around the country. On the other hand, “changes are needed to help with the rollout of all the new funding, including speeding up permitting for transportation projects and making it simpler for local governments to apply for the grants,” writes Murakami.

The article digs specifically into some of the specific details of permitting requirements, especially under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The IIJA made tangible changes to the NEPA process, including a requirement for “federal agencies to consider the ‘indirect’ and ‘cumulative’ environmental effects of projects and not just the direct ones.” Republicans will try to undo those changes, reports Murkami. The IIJA also added the One Federal Decision, “which requires federal agencies to coordinate their environmental reviews.”

Sources cited in the article include U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland); U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota); Jim Willox, chairman of the Converse County Commission in Wyoming; Michael Carroll, deputy managing director of the Philadelphia Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems; and Jacob Day, mayor of Salisbury, Maryland.

While the article also mentions a few specific programs funded by the IIJA, like Buy America requirements, $5 billion to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the Transportation Alternatives program (doubled by the IIJA), most of details of implementation remain conceptual, and have yet to materialize in tangible, built projects.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in Route Fifty

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee