An Overview of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 

New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Will Help the Supply Chain
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Public Law 117-58, also commonly known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” into law.  It is the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and economy in the history of our country.  

Of the total $1.2 trillion investment, The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $550 billion over fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to modernize internet connectivity, drinking water infrastructure, as well as transportation and logistics infrastructure.  From roads and bridges to ports, rail ways, tunnels, airports, broadband and clean energy producing hydrogen hubs, this infrastructure investment is likely to have a profound impact on the supply chain logistics industry.  Designed to impact citizens and communities across America, the new infrastructure law also covers infrastructure projects in Puerto Rico and in local tribal areas. 

The new infrastructure law also includes investments to help mitigate environmental impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.  Clean drinking water, air quality and clean energy are important areas of concentration for infrastructure investment. 

Here Are Some of the Investments: 

Public Transportation

Replacement of thousands of public transit vehicles such as ferries and buses with low or no emission, green vehicles.  In addition, the infrastructure law funds improved transit services for underserved communities including upgrades to station accessibility.  This effort will include investments to repair and upgrade aging transit infrastructure and modernize rail fleets and buses. 

 

Mass Transit

With a multibillion-dollar backlog of needed repairs for over 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations and thousands of miles of rail track, signals, and power systems that need to be replaced, public mass transit is not serving the public as it should. 

Mass transit is especially critical to communities of color.  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act invests $39 billion to help modernize mass transit.  As part of surface transportation, the new law also continues the existing transit programs for a period of five years.  The total investment from this legislation totals $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit of five years. 

The new Infrastructure Law expands public transit options.  This will replace thousands of vehicles found to be deficient and will cover every state in America. 

 

National Highways and Bridge Investment

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide $52.5 billion in funding for Fiscal Year 2022 to all 50 states and the District of Columbia and will be based on a statutory formula contained within the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.   These funds will be used to decrease the backlog of necessary major repairs for highways and bridges including: 

  • Repairs to up to 10 of the most economically relevant bridges in the U.S. 
  • Repairs to over 15,000 smaller bridges nationwide 
  • Reconnection of up to 20 communities that have been segmented by portions of interstates 
  • Creation of a national network of 500,000 electrical vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030.  Smaller and underserved communities will be funded through a special program. 

Not only will this improvement of the transportation infrastructure facilitate and streamline travel but it will also improve highway safety for both consumers and the transportation and logistics service providers responsible for hauling freight across the nation. 

The Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program) will receive $26.4 billion for distribution to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over 5 years.  $825 million has been allotted to Tribal transportation facilities.  These monies will be used to repair thousands of bridges across America. In addition to repairs, approximately 15,000 highway bridges will be modernized to help them withstand the impact of climate change so that they are safer for all users. 

Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes incentives for states to utilize the new Bridge Formula Program to offset the expense of repairing bridges owned by a locality, county, city, or town.  In general, states are expected to match federal funding with up to 20 percent local or state funding.  However, guidance on the infrastructure law indicates that federal funds can be used for the entire cost of repairing or rehabilitating locally owned bridges that are off-system. 

 

Passenger Rail

The new Infrastructure Law invests $66 billion in additional rail funding, not only for passenger rail travel but also to haul freight.  This is designed to eradicate the Amtrack maintenance backlog as well as to modernize transport along the Northeast Corridor.  The investment will expand rail service to areas beyond the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and facilitate the movement of both passengers as well as freight. 

 

Airports and Ports Infrastructure

An investment of $17 billion in waterways and port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports will help to remediate maintenance and repair backlogs, decrease emissions and congestion in areas around airports and ports, help generate use of low-carbon and electrification technologies.  This investment is designed to help to mitigate the environmental impact on nearby communities and streamline commerce. 

 

School Buses

Replacement of a substantial portion of the existing fleet of nearly 500,000 school buses with zero or low tailpipe emission buses.  This will help ensure improved air quality for student passengers as well as in bus loading zones and in the communities they serve.  Young passengers tend to be especially vulnerable to the pollutants exuded by school buses which can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses, including asthma.  The new school buses will operate using alternative fuel products such as liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, hydrogen, propane, or biofuels.  The infrastructure law also enables use of another important form of clean energy, electricity in replacing buses with electric vehicles. 

 

Upgrade the Power Infrastructure

Nearly $70 billion dollars of cost is associated with power outages across the American economy every year.  To counter this, the new infrastructure law will invest over $65 billion in the upgrade of the power infrastructure through the construction of thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines.  This will help to expand the use of renewable energies and clean energy technologies while decreasing energy costs. 

In addition, new programs will be implemented to provide support to the development, demonstration and deployment of leading-edge technologies that produce clean energy. 

 

Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the United States will invest $7.5 billion to construct a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.  This legislation provides the necessary funding to deploy EV chargers adjacent to highway corridors.  This will help facilitate long distance travel.  In addition, communities across America will have ready access to EV chargers in areas where people frequent as part of their daily lives. 

 

Clean Water Infrastructure

An investment of $55 billion from the new Infrastructure Law will improve access to clean drinking water from rural towns to suburban and urban areas as well as to tribal communities.  Lead pipes will be eliminated, particularly in disadvantaged communities and Tribal Nations. 

 

Access to Reliable High-Speed Internet

During the COVID pandemic, it became especially clear that all Americans did not have equal access to reliable high-speed Internet.  This was notably problematic as more professionals were forced out of workplaces and children from schools.  School and workforce productivity suffered. 

The Infrastructure Act will fund $65 billion to help ensure that all Americans have access to reliable high-speed Internet.  This will be accomplished by a massive investment in the broadband infrastructure.  Part of this funding will be leveraged to reduce the cost of internet service so that more Americans can afford internet access. 

 

Improve the Resilience of Existing Infrastructure against Cyber-Attacks, Extreme Weather Events, and the Impacts of Climate Change

The new legislation invests more than $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure using weatherization techniques and other methods to safeguard against wildfires, floods, heat, and droughts. 

 

Conclusion 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment of its kind in a generation.  Essential to the U.S., the critical infrastructure law delivers modernization and resiliency improvements against the effects of climate change, repairs, reconstruction, and much more, all using infrastructure materials that are “Made in America”.  Some existing federally assisted programs also continued to be funded through this legislation. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Cost is nearly $1.2 Trillion.  The federal agencies Involved include: 

  • U.S.  Department of Energy 
  • U.S.  Department of the Interior 
  • U.S. Department of Transportation 

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