Federal infrastructure money is coming. Are you ready?
The newly passed Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) will provide $1.2 trillion in federal funding over five years. Vice President and Senior Civil/Environmental Engineer Michelle Stockness explains how to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fund your public infrastructure project.
Q: What types of projects can be funded through the IIJA?
MS: The IIJA reauthorizes and expands funding for existing programs and provides $550 billion for new programs. Under the expansive IIJA, a wide array of public infrastructure projects could be funded in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, or stormwater infrastructure, flood protection, brownfield remediation, renewable energy, climate change adaptation, Great Lakes restoration, drought resilience, and transportation.
Q: I’m not sure if my project merits federal funding. What are my options for state funding?
MS: IIJA federal funding is being routed through existing state programs. Identifying potential state funding sources and understanding program requirements can be overwhelming. Existing State Revolving Fund programs are a great place to start. Our team would be happy to walk you through funding options and steps needed to get your project ready to submit. We’ve helped public clients find and evaluate state funding options, helping them secure awards ranging from $10,000 to $10 million including facilitating and coordinating multi-program funding packages.
Q: We already have a project concept. Can you help us define our project scope?
MS: Sure! Most programs require a project outline, including scope, schedule, and budget. We can help you scope your project on a conceptual level. For any funding program, it’s critical to develop a clear project plan and objectives. This makes it easier to engage with stakeholders and develop a shared vision. Focusing on disadvantaged community benefits is a powerful focus of these new federal funds as well. By combining engineering design with funding experience, we can help you fully scope and develop a credible project that aligns with the requirements of these expanded funding sources.
Q: We’ve found potential funding sources, but I’m overwhelmed by all the requirements and forms. Can you help me?
MS: We can empathize. Securing funding and understanding application-specific requirements is not easy! Navigating the complex requirements of public funding can be challenging and time-consuming. It takes more than strong writing skills to develop winning applications. It takes strategic thinking, time management, and facilitation. Success also requires identifying permitting and compliance issues as well as planning studies.
Barr’s in-house funding writers can prepare local, state, and federal applications. Our technical experts are available to help identify and plan for potential permitting hurdles, streamline regulatory compliance, conduct any needed studies, and provide project reporting. For help getting your infrastructure project funded and implemented, contact us.
About Michelle Stockness
Michelle Stockness, former vice president, senior civil/environmental engineer at Barr, has helped municipalities and industrial clients solve their water, wastewater, and water reuse needs for more than two decades. She has also served as a vice president of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).