Over the past few weeks, details have been materializing from the Biden administration’s massive, $2.3 trillion federal investment strategy, known as the American Jobs Plan. Of this $2.3 trillion, $932 billion (or 41%) is slated to go towards infrastructure spending – with transportation infrastructure coming out as a big winner, yielding $571 billion of this total package. Remaining infrastructure spending ($361 billion) will go towards drinking/wastewater facilities, broadband development/installation, power/electric grid construction, and resiliency for all of the above programs. In addition to infrastructure spending, $378 of the package will be allocated towards ‘Other Physical Capital’ including affordable housing, public schools and community colleges, childcare facilities, VA hospitals, and other federal buildings. There is also $580 billion dedicated towards ‘Other Federal Investments’ like innovative research and development, investments in domestic manufacturing, and workforce development programs. Lastly, $400 billion will be dedicated towards childcare and eldercare jobs.
Transportation Breakdown (as it currently stands):
· Road/Highway Infrastructure – $115 billion will be allocated to “modernize 20,000 miles of roads, reconstruct major bridges, and repair 10,000 small bridges.” This funding pool will focus on ‘repair,’ as no new highway/roadway capacity will be added, and the infrastructure in “the most critical need of repair” will be prioritized.
· Road Safety – $20 billion will be allocated to road safety projects that “support safe streets programs and fund state and local “vision zero” plans that aim to reduce crashes and fatalities.” This will particularly promote the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
· Mass Transit – $110 billion will be allocated “to modernize existing transit that will help agencies expand their systems to meet rider demand.” As part of this package, $25 billion will be allocated to agencies for the conversion of conventional diesel transit buses to electric.
· Railroads – $80 billion will be allocated to address Amtrak’s repair backlog, improve existing corridors, and build out new intercity connections. Colorado’s Front Range Rail could be a potential fit for this funding opportunity.
· Equity Programs – $25 billion will be allocated towards “a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access/mobility.”
· Electric Vehicles – $149 billion (excluding the $25 billion for transit buses) will be allocated towards EV programs. $135 billion will go toward the establishment of grant and incentive programs for state and local governments to help support the private sector in the building out a national supply chain that supports the proliferation of EVs, as well as the installation of 500,000 EV chargers throughout the country by 2030. Also included in this $135 billion is $20 billion to support a shift towards EV for the country’s postal service and school bus fleet. In addition to the $135 billion; $14 billion is allocated in the form of tax incentives and point-of-sale rebates to make EV prices more competitive for American consumers.
· Other – $172 billion will be split between the improvements of airports, ports of entry, and megaprojects
Through the American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration is making their priorities clear, as over several years there will be a 46% increase in highway spending, 167% increase in transit spending, and a 584% increase in rail spending. Key unanswered questions at the moment relate to what formula will be used to distribute the money to states and municipalities, how larger projects will be selected, and if state or local governments will be required to provide a matching share. As more details on this historic program emerge, we will continue to update this blog post.
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