Over the next five years, the Federal government will invest $1.2 trillion to overhaul and upgrade aging roads, bridges, railways and railroads, airports, water systems, broadband, the electricity grid, and a lot more. What can you do now to prepare to ensure you and your firm are ready to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime building opportunity?
Get Acquainted with the New Law
What’s included in the Infrastructure Law and how will that impact New York State and the Hudson Valley? Gain insights from our last article, “Hudson Valley Construction: Get Ready to Get Building.” [LINK] You’ll want to pay attention because over $65 billion is already heading out the door so states and local governments can begin driving progress this year. In 2022:
- S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)/Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) apportioned $52 billion to states for road and bridge repairs;
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlined $7.4 billion for states to spend on water infrastructure and to replace lead pipes;
- USDOT/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $3 billion to modernize 3,075 airports nationwide;
- EPA announced $1 billion in funding to clean up 49 hazardous Superfund sites in 24 states;
- USDOT awarded $230 million in Port Infrastructure Development Program Grants to modernize more than 30 port sites nationwide; and
- Each state can apply for $100 million in grants for highspeed internet, as well as orphan wells and mine remediation.
Keep an Eye on the Governor’s Press Room
Governors are being encouraged to prepare by appointing staff to manage the flow of funds to each state; consulting with Tribal leaders, county officials, civil rights and territorial leaders for input; identifying how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds can help states prepare to maximize Infrastructure Law funds (i.e., use ARP funding to train workers to build the infrastructure; rehire public sector workers to manage funds; and start water, sewer and broadband projects to complement infrastructure law investments); contacting the State Department of Transportation for information on accessing highway and bridge formula funding; and identifying priorities suited for competitive grand funding programs.
So, staying in the know about what’s going on in Albany will also give you some insight on where to focus your efforts. A good place to start may be with daily visits to Governor Hochul’s online press room, where you can learn about new funds and plans as soon as they become available. (Case and point: Today, as this article was being written, a press release was issued announcing $76.4 million in funding for 38 projects to renew and modernize New York’s freight rail infrastructure.)
Take a Glimpse at the White House’s Guidebook
On January 31, the White House issued a guidebook at build.gov to help constituents learn what to apply for, contacts, and how to get ready to rebuild. The White House says the goal of the guidebook released Monday is to ensure that all communities have the details on how to qualify for funding, no matter their size or politics. Don’t be fooled by the 465 pages – it’s very user-friendly:
- For each major category, there’s a funding overview, action items to get ready, and resources for information and assistance.
- For each program within a category, there’s a one-page summary with the funding amount, period of availability, funding mechanism, whether it’s new, recipient description, eligible uses, and next milestone.
- A data file is also available to simplify sorting programs by agency, funding amount, eligibility, and more.
- Updates on deadlines and details will be issued in future versions of the guidebook.
In turn, the White House is encouraging regions and local governments to develop their own guides to help every community learn about and access funds. This is something you’ll want to keep on your radar.
Prepare, Plan and Get Ready to Bid
For those in the construction industry, it’s a good time to become acquainted with the White House guidebook; raise your hand and let government representatives know if there are particular areas of interest to you; examine staffing and training needs for your organization; consider whether you should be partnering with other firms; and prepare for all things accounting-, tax- and audit-related that may arise. Your partners at RBT CPAs are available to help you chart your financial course so you can maximize Infrastructure Law opportunities. Find out how – contact us today.