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Federal Funding Streams, Infrastructure & Maintenance Investments

How can municipalities access funds to address deferred maintenance on residential and local roads?

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (“IIJA”) provides funding to many different grant programs, both old and new.[1] There are 40 different grant programs that support projects pertaining to roads, bridges, and similar major projects.[2] The IIJA includes over $45 billion in new, competitive grant programs to which local governments can apply. Examples include:

  • Safe Streets and Roads for All;
  • Bridge Investment Program;
  • Railroad Crossing Elimination;
  • Reconnecting Communities;
  • National Culvert Removal, Replacement and Restoration;
  • Healthy Streets;
  • Rural Surface Transportation Program (“Rural”); and
  • National Infrastructure Project Assistance (“Megaprojects” or “MEGA”).[3]

Each of these programs may have different requirements, application periods, and selection criteria.[4] Municipalities should consult subsequent versions of the White House’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook for updates regarding deadlines and application submission information.[5]

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires applicants to submit their applications for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (“INFRA”), MEGA, and Rural grant programs, which are now combined under the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant opportunity, through the web-based platform Grants.gov.[6] Municipalities should consider completing the one-time registration with Grants.gov as early as possible, because the registration process may take two to four weeks to complete.[7]

Additionally, to prepare for the variety of grant opportunities, the White House recommends that municipalities take the following steps:

  1. Prioritize your community’s capital needs and develop a project pipeline – taking time to think about the projects previously considered impossible due to lack of funding or regional coordination. This is a once-in-a-generation funding opportunity that will require bold, inclusive thinking;
  2. Use the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook to identify federal funding streams to target;[8]
  3. Ensure all transit, railway, road, highway, and bridge projects are a part of your [metropolitan planning organization]’s Transportation Improvement Plan;
  4. Begin mapping sites for electric vehicle and alternative fuel charging stations (if applicable);
  5. Inventory and map the lead pipes in your city (if applicable);
  6. Work with your state’s broadband agency to ensure your city or region’s needs are appropriately mapped and inventoried; and
  7. Establish relationships with the regional offices for key federal agencies, who can help direct you to resources and provide technical assistance.[9]

Last Updated: April 20, 2022

[1] The White House: A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments, and Other Partners, at 11, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[2] Id., at 12.

[3] Id.

[4] Id., at 13-52.

[5] Id., at 6.

[6] Grants.gov: Applicants, available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html.

[7] Grants.gov: Organization Registration, available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.

[8] The White House: A Guidebook to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments, and Other Partners, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BUILDING-A-BETTER-AMERICA_FINAL.pdf.

[9] The White House: FACT SHEET: Competitive Infrastructure Funding Opportunities for Local Governments, at 6-7, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BIL-Factsheet-Local-Competitive-Funding.pdf.