Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Reaches First Anniversary

Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly referred to within the Biden-Harris Administration as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The $1.2 trillion measure has already allocated millions to Kentucky for transportation, water, broadband, and other projects.

As of November 2022, various federal agencies have announced more than $3.5 billion in BIL funding for over 110 projects in Kentucky. Most of this funding will go toward transportation projects, in which the commonwealth will receive more than $2.2 billion for investments in roads, bridges, transit, ports, and airports. Kentucky should receive approximately $5.1 billion over five years for its highways and bridges.

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program will provide more than $69 million to the state over five years to support the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging. Announced funding to date includes $25 million in 2022 and 2023 to build a network of EV chargers. State officials have targeted interstates, parkways, and other priority highways for the first rounds of EV infrastructure expansion.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced another $112.7 million for the state’s clean and safe water projects. Of this amount, $46.7 million will replace lead pipes and service lines, and nearly $30 million will go toward safe drinking water projects that can also support lead pipe replacement.

Kentucky will receive additional investments to support broadband deployment and usage. The state will get at least $100 million to expand high-speed internet coverage, and as many as 813,000 households qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. About 302,000 Kentucky households have enrolled in this new program that cuts internet bills by up to $30 per month and provides a one-time $100 discount off a connected device.

In the past decade, Kentucky experienced 154 extreme weather events that cost the state up to $99 billion in damages. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law focuses on resiliency against the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and other hazards like cyberattacks. The administration has allocated around $539 million to the state for infrastructure resiliency, which includes $19.4 million for flood mitigation through the Army Corps of Engineers.

The law spreads most infrastructure spending over five years, and many programs must go through state governments before passing some to local officials. The law does not provide direct funding to cities like the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA); however, cities may apply directly to the federal government for some competitive grant programs, such as bridge repairs/replacements, railroad crossing improvements, electric grid projects, and community-based EV charging stations.