The U.S. House of Representatives, in a rare Friday session last week, passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $450 billion for highway and public transportation investments and a new, five-year reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs. The information coming out of DC has been confusing with a lot of different numbers and figures thrown around and confusion over a larger spending bill, the Build Back Better Plan, that invests money in non-traditional infrastructure including child care and climate control measures. What is clear, this is the single largest investment from the federal government for the nation’s transportation network in more than 50 years.
What does this all mean for Michigan’s infrastructure specifically? Some reports have suggested that this would mean $7.8 billion in new investments for road and bridge repairs from the federal government over the next five years. That is simply not true. The entire federal program for Michigan will be approximately $7.8 billion and it will be about $1.7 billion more, or “new money” for Michigan’s roads and bridges over the next five years compared to the previous five years of distribution from the federal government. Below is a chart of the annual appropriations for Michigan from 2021 through 2026 under the new bill.
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
$1,152,611,274 $1,394,849,821 $1,422,748,656 $1,451,205,467 $1,480,231,414 $1,509,837,877
In addition to the annual increase through 2026, a general fund appropriation was also included and Michigan will see an additional $563 million to be used to repair and replace bridges in Michigan. Despite all the new investment coming into Michigan, it is still woefully short of the over $2 billion annual investment that has been proven to be needed.
Several billions will also be spent on other types of infrastructure, including underground infrastructure. The bill provides $1.3 billion in new money for water infrastructure for Michigan alone. Overall, the bill represents a doubling of funding compared to recent funding allocations for improved water quality. The money will be distributed to communities in grants and low interest loans to replace lead service lines and upgrade wastewater and stormwater systems.
While this isn’t exactly the infrastructure bill that MITA or our affiliates would write, it represents a 24 percent increase in the program in the first year and overall a 38 percent increase for surface transportation over the five-year reauthorization. Traditionally, MITA supports user fee increases to pay for our infrastructure; however, there is not a lot of support to increase the federal gas tax in Congress.
As complete details come out MITA staff will continue to update the membership. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Coppersmith, Interim Executive Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com. They both can be reached at 517-347-8336.