November 15th witnessed one of the biggest infrastructure packages in US history being signed after months of political infighting. It is designated as a major fund source for much public infrastructure, allocating as much as $1.2 trillion ($550 billion of those towards airports, waterways, public transit, and bridges).
But what are the goals of the infrastructure bill? What does it include and what is it exactly funding? We’ll break down the fund allocations below, while briefly touching on the bill’s details.
Originally, the proposal for the bill was released in March 2021. The proposal set $2 trillion as a base funding amount for public projects, with the final bill cutting $800 billion in costs (down to $1.2 trillion).
Additionally, lawmakers agreed to further drop the bill’s investments across the board by around 50%. The final allocations put transport funding at $312 billion (down from a proposed $621 billion), with power and water funds dropping to $125 billion (from $210 billion).
Bridges and Roads: The first funding allocation mentioned in the 2702 page bill. Around $110 billion will be allocated towards US bridges and sand roads, along with upgrades in multiple transport programs.
Airports: American airports are receiving over $25 billion with the new bill. The funds aim to modernize the airports, and according to the Airports Council International, this should clear more than $115 billion of project backlogs.
Road Security: The bill funnels $11 billion towards a transport safety program. This’ll include a new initiative to assist localities and states in reducing fatalities and crashes, especially those involving pedestrians and cyclists.
Buses, Ferries, and Electrics Cars: The new bill allocates $7.5 billion towards electric-vehicle charges throughout the nation’s highway routes. Also, $5 billion have been allocated to low-emission buses, with $2.5 billion towards ferries.
Public Transport: Regardless of cost cuts, the bill includes the largest federal allocation recorded towards public transit. $39 billion have been allocated to system modernization, access improvement to disabled and elderly individuals, along with repairs for 5000 railcars, train tracks, and 24,000+ buses.
Amtrak: The bill also comes with the largest allocation towards passenger rail in 50 years, with $66 billion towards high-speed rail and safety upgrades. Amtrak route modernization is also being done for the rail connecting Boston and Washington D.C.
Broadband Internet: The bill includes a $65 billion allocation for a nationwide infrastructure improvement. This’ll ensure that each American has access to fast internet. The fund ensures that 1 of 4 households receive $30/month subsidies that allow internet access.
Energy and Electric Grid: While multiple clean-energy initiatives were removed from the bill’s proposal, a $108 billion allocation will be directed to upgrading the national electricity grid. This’ll provide thousands of miles of transmission funds, plus funds for environment-friendly smart grids.
Lakes and Great Rivers: The bill supports the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, allocating $1 billion towards them. The initiative consists of a clean-up process, removing toxic hot spots, specifically those affected by industrial pollution. Additionally, $17 billion are to be funneled towards waterways and ports.
Drinking Water: With many US cities experiencing water-supply plague crises (such as Flint, Michigan), the new bill has allocated $55 billion towards replacing all US service lines and lead pipes, being the largest drinking water investment in US history.
Regular Funds: New investments represent $550 billion of total allocations. The rest (representing $650 billion) will be allocated towards other infrastructure and road funding, with the Highway Trust Fund receiving $300 billion, and the public transit receiving $90 billion (for the following 5 years).