FHWA Launches Website to Highlight Infrastructure Laweditor@aashto.org December 3, 2021 0 COMMENTS
The Federal Highway Administration has launched a new website designed to provide information about the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA for transportation agencies, communities, and industry stakeholders.
[Above photo by the USDOT]
The new website – located at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/ – serves as a “one-stop shop” for transportation agencies and others interested in learning more about new and existing FHWA programs as well as how to apply for grants and other discretionary funding opportunities available under the IIJA.
“FHWA is committed to providing easily accessible information on the [IIJA] as the first of many steps we’re taking to deliver the largest transportation investment in generations,” explained Stephanie Pollack, FHWA’s deputy administrator, in a statement.
FHWA issued a Request for Information or RFI on December 1 to solicit suggestions from the public and stakeholders on how best to facilitate its implementation of the IIJA.
“To realize its full potential we need to hear from the public, especially on how FHWA should address the opportunities and challenges associated with both changes to existing programs and the creation of new programs,” Pollack noted.
In a related effort, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is creating an implementation “framework” for state departments of transportation to help them prioritize the flow of federal funds from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA over the next five years.
AASHTO released a six-page outline of that framework on November 18, followed by a full plan in late February 2022.
While this “massive piece of legislation” will take time to implement, AASHTO stressed that a key goal of the IIJA implementation process is to set up the framework for implementation as soon as possible.
“We are setting up this framework to provide a set of ‘common tools’ to the states so they can establish their own specific transportation priorities for IIJA funds,” explained Joung Lee, AASHTO’s newly appointed deputy director-chief policy officer, in an interview with the AASHTO Journal.
[Editor’s note: Lee outlined many of the potential benefits of the IIJA to states in an episode of the Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast in early October.]
“Those tools will help state DOTs establish the ‘rule of engagement’ with the IIJA quickly while also helping them plan out the strategic process for investing those funds over the next five years,” he said. “This funding is poised to provide multi-decade returns on multimodal transportation investment. AASHTO’s implementation plan is focused on helping states maximize that benefit.”