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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law One Year Later

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (officially the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act). The BIL was not only a historic federal commitment to improving the nation’s infrastructure, but it also represents a major bipartisan achievement.

The White House marked the anniversary by releasing new figures on the amount of BIL funding made available so far—$185 billion—and new map showing the nearly 7,000 projects that have been awarded grants. Obviously, these are big numbers, but they raise some important questions. Is the administration on track in implementing BIL? Are there still challenges to overcome? What should we expect in the law’s second year?

To help answer these questions, BPC reached out to five experts whom we interviewed in January of this year, as BIL implementation was just beginning. All five served at one time or another in the federal government overseeing infrastructure programs. We asked them four key questions about the administration’s progress. Click on the takeaways below to see quotes from each of the experts.

1. One year into BIL implementation, many programs have been launched and billions of dollars have gone out. But there is more to do: some programs are still awaiting NOFOs or guidance, and various studies and pilots have yet to be launched. Based on your experience implementing infrastructure programs, how would you assess the administration’s progress to date?

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2. One of the themes that emerged from the expert Q&A is that successful BIL implementation depends on federal agencies effectively coordinating with each other so that projects can proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Have you seen such coordination happening, or are agencies still operating within their own silos?

3. Another theme from the expert Q&A was the importance of clear federal guidance on issues like equity and resilience. Has the administration offered adequate guidance and technical assistance, particularly to smaller and disadvantaged communities, on how to use BIL funding for these purposes?

4. What would you recommend the administration focus on during the second year of BIL implementation? Have any concerns arisen during the first year, and if so, how would you address them?

The experts interviewed for this post include:

  • Susan Bodine, Partner, Earth & Water Law
  • Jane Garvey, Global Chair, Meridiam
  • Beth Osborne, Director, Transportation for America
  • Jim Ray, Corporate President, Advisory, HNTB
  • Rodney Slater, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

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