New York builders group looks to accelerate IIJA funding

Dive Brief:

  • The New York Building Congress launched a committee of building industry leaders to expedite the process for federal funding under the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to a press release.
  • The NYBC’s Infrastructure Action Council, formed of 12 charter members, will help drive infrastructure advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels to ensure funding hits critical infrastructure projects in New York and around the nation.
  • “More than a year and a half since President Biden’s signing of the historic $1.2 trillion IIJA, we’re still sitting on billions of unspent federal dollars that we can use to improve the lives of millions of Americans,” said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the NYBC. “Trust me when I say the IAC is ready to get to work.”

Dive Insight:

About 18% of the IIJA total funds have flowed to projects since President Biden signed the five-year, $1.2 trillion legislation into a law roughly a year and half ago.

Around $220 billion in IIJA funds have been allocated to more than 32,000 projects across the country, according to a White House press release

That represents less than one-fifth of the total amount earmarked in the act, and is at least marginally behind pace if an equal amount of funding were disbursed each year. 

Yet some construction executives at publicly traded firms have said they expect a majority of IIJA funds to flow in the middle years of the anticipated timeline. 

For example, AECOM CEO Troy Rudd, whose firm is a member of the new council, recently pegged the peak of IIJA funding flows to happen in 2026 and 2027. Meanwhile, Jacobs Solutions CEO Bob Pragada cited IIJA funding to continue to boost the Dallas-based company’s performance.

Nevertheless, the NYBC launched the Infrastructure Action Council in order to unlock funding from the IIJA sooner, said Scissura.

Members plan to meet with state and federal leaders in Albany, New York, and Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to get shovels in the ground. According to the NYBC release, that includes:

  • Streamlining environmental reviews, permitting processes, overall project approvals and release of IIJA funds by federal agencies.
  • Increasing infrastructure funding support for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other agency capital programs.
  • Expanding IIJA education and outreach opportunities to equip entities with the knowledge and resources needed to determine funding eligibility and submit applications.
  • Creating a new state program to incentivize the creation of affordable housing units.
  • Dedicating federal and state funding to workforce development to ensure the construction industry is equipped to deliver on these projects.

The 12 charter members of the Infrastructure Action Council are:

  • AECOM.
  • Batska Consulting Group.
  • BRAVO Group.
  • General Contractors Association of New York.
  • Global Infrastructure Solutions.
  • Halmar International.
  • Langan.
  • Syska Hennessy Group.
  • STV.
  • Suffolk.
  • Thornton Tomasetti.
  • WSP USA.
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