Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Overview and the Role of P3s
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law a long-awaited $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ("IIJA"). The IIJA is touted as a first step in fixing the United States' failing infrastructure system with several initiatives focused on transportation, technology, and water systems. Although the "headline" number of the IIJA is $1.2 trillion, the bill effectively adds about $550 billion in new spending over the next five years, of which $312 billion is slated toward transportation. The spending package also includes $89.9 billion to modernize public transit over the next five years, with $39 billion to improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities, and $7.5 billion to replace transit vehicles, such as buses and ferries, with zero-emission vehicles. The funds will be distributed through a series of grant programs by the Treasury Department, presenting new funding opportunities for companies engaged in the infrastructure sector.
It is still somewhat uncertain as to the role that public–private partnerships ("P3s") will play with respect to infrastructure initiatives. The IIJA does, however, recognize the role of private investment in facilitating and implementing P3s and in several instances directs programs to consider P3s. The mere increase in available funds and additional projects that should follow will likely create more opportunities for P3s.
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