This document describes Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) staff’s interpretations of the legislation. This document is meant to be used by local governments for informational purposes only. It is neither an official record of how the funding will be administered nor a call for projects.
On November 15, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that makes generational investments for rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, and rails. More than $567 billion in funding will go toward projects and programs that affect every aspect of transportation. It expands access to clean drinking water, addresses climate change, strengthens the nation’s broadband infrastructure, and supports safer travel.
IIJA reauthorizes transportation programs for the next five years (FY2022-26). This update focuses on key transportation provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
*Note: The Illinois funding estimates within this update were provided by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Funding estimates for Illinois are highlighted in this document.*
Increases funding for regional formula programs
The IIJA increases funding for all four of CMAP's regional formula programs.
Funding for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program will increase by 10 percent over the life of the bill, going from $2.5 billion annually to $2.745 billion by 2026. The CMAQ program supports projects that reduce congestion and emissions. IIJA expands CMAQ eligibility to include shared micromobility projects, such as bike-share infrastructure, as well as the purchase of zero-emission vehicles and charging equipment. Illinois is estimated to receive nearly $120 million in FY2022 and $624 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
Funding for the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program will increase by 32 percent over the life of the bill from $11.3 billion annually to nearly $15 billion by 2026. The program supports local transportation projects and CMAP’s Surface Transportation Shared Fund for regionally significant projects. IIJA adds new eligibility for infrastructure to support electric vehicle charging, intelligent transportation technologies, and emerging transportation technologies. The IIJA also makes value-for-money analysis an eligible expense under the STBG program. This analysis is a new transparency requirement solely for projects supported through public-private partnerships that cost at least $100 million and seek federal financial assistance.
Funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) will see the largest increase over the life of the bill. TAP funding will increase by 76 percent, going from $850 million annually to nearly $1.5 billion by 2026. The program supports bicycle and pedestrian projects, recreational trails, and streetscape improvements. The IIJA increases the current 50 percent local sub-allocation to 59 percent, with an option for states to increase up to 100 percent. The bill also expands project eligibility to include safety projects that address vulnerable road users.
For STBG and the TAP set-aside, Illinois is estimated to receive $486 million in FY2022 and $2.5 billion over the FY2022-26 period.*
Funding for the Metropolitan Planning Program will increase by 32 percent over the life of the bill, going from $358 million annually to nearly $472 million by 2026. The program supports regional planning efforts and CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance Program.
The bill also makes programmatic changes that will allow CMAP and other metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to better incorporate housing and economic development into transportation planning through regional housing coordination plans. Illinois is estimated to receive $22.5 million in FY2022 and $117 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
Programs to reduce congestion and build more resilient infrastructure
The IIJA creates new formula and competitive funding opportunities that will allow states, regions, and local governments to reduce emissions and build resilient infrastructure in the face of climate change.
The Carbon Reduction Program provides $6.4 billion in formula funding over five years to states to invest in projects that reduce transportation-related emissions. This program supports public transportation projects, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and the deployment of congestion management and intelligent transportation technologies. It also supports investments that will mitigate the impacts of freight movement and port electrification. States, in consultation with MPOs, are required to develop a strategy to reduce carbon and emissions. Similar to the Surface Transportation Program, 65 percent of funding from the Carbon Reduction Program would be sub-allocated within the state by population. Illinois is estimated to receive more than $43 million in FY2022 and $225.6 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
The Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program provides $7.3 billion in formula funding over five years to states and $1.4 billion in competitive funding over the same period. This program supports resilient infrastructure projects that will incorporate natural infrastructure, flood protection, and other improvements related to highway projects. MPOs like CMAP are eligible to compete for resilience planning grants. Funding can be used to develop a resilience improvement plan covered 100 percent by the federal government. Illinois is estimated to receive $49 million in FY2022 and $256.5 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
The IIJA also creates a new National Electric Vehicle Formula Program. It will provide $5 billion over five years to states to establish electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Program eligibility covers the purchase, installation, operation, maintenance, and data sharing associated with this infrastructure.
Competitive funding, which includes $2.5 billion over five years, also is available under the new Alternative Fuels Corridor program. The program supports state and local governments with alternative charging and fueling (hydrogen, propane, natural gas) infrastructure. Illinois is estimated to receive an annual average of $29 million beginning in FY2022 and $148.6 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
The Congestion Relief Program provides $250 million over five years in competitive funding to states, cities, or metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million like northeastern Illinois. Priority will be given to the most congested metropolitan areas in the country. Eligible activities include the deployment of integrated congestion management systems, the implementation of congestion pricing, and other incentive programs.
The Healthy Streets Program provides $500 million over five years in competitive funding to state and local governments for placing cool and porous pavement, as well as expanded tree cover. This is another newly created program to improve the resiliency of infrastructure by mitigating urban heat islands, improving air quality, and mitigating flood risks. The federal share for this program is 80 percent, but may go up to 100 percent if the community can prove a hardship.
In addition to new programs, the IIJA also expands the purpose of the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) to increase the resiliency of the National Highway System against the impacts of extreme weather events, flooding, and other natural disasters.
New language also allows states to use up to 15 percent of formula funding for protective resiliency features on federal-aid highways and local bridges that will mitigate the risk of recurring damage from extreme weather events. The NHPP increases by 27 percent over the life of the bill from $24 billion annually to $30.7 billion by 2026, totaling $148 billion from FY22-26. Illinois is estimated to receive nearly $1 billion beginning in FY2022 and $5.2 billion over the FY2022-26 period.*
New opportunities to build more equitable transportation
The IIJA creates a new Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program that provides $1 billion over five years in competitive grants for planning and projects to remove, retrofit, or mitigate existing highways that were built through neighborhoods and created a barrier to mobility and economic development. Highways, viaducts, and grade separations are among the eligible facilities for this program. States, regions, local governments, and nonprofit organizations also are eligible for this funding.
The IIJA also legislatively authorizes the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program for the first time. The RAISE program now provides $7.5 billion in competitive funding for multimodal infrastructure projects with significant regional impact. In the most recent round of RAISE funding, the U.S. Department of Transportation prioritized projects that could demonstrate improvements to racial equity.
The IIJA creates a new Transportation Access Pilot Program to support states and regions with developing accessibility data to improve transportation planning. This pilot will assist transportation planners with measuring the impact transportation investments may have on healthcare, childcare, education, jobs, and other essential services.
Prioritizes safety funding and standards for all road users
IIJA creates a new Safe Streets and Roads for All program, which provides $6 billion in competitive funding over five years. Regions and local governments are eligible to apply for this funding to develop and implement comprehensive safety action plans. Another section of IIJA also requires states and regions to spend at least 2.5 percent of Metropolitan Planning (for MPOs) and State Planning and Research funds (for states) toward projects that address all road users. Those projects include the adoption of complete streets plans, active transportation projects (bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including sidewalks), alternative travel demand planning, and transit-oriented development planning.
IIJA also creates a new competitive grant program, called the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program, for projects that support safe and connected active transportation networks. The program provides $1 billion in competitive funding over five years to a multi-state group, multi-county group, or individual states. This program could support the implementation of the Northeastern Illinois Greenways and Trails Plan and trail connections with neighboring states.
The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) received a 34 percent increase in state formula funding, going from $2.4 billion annually at Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act levels to $3.2 billion by 2026. Under the IIJA, states are required to use at least 15 percent of HSIP funds to address the safety of vulnerable road users when total annual fatalities of those users represent at least 15 percent of the total annual crash fatalities in the state. The HSIP section of the bill also requires every state to create a vulnerable road user assessment. The assessment will measure the fatalities and serious injuries of vulnerable road users while identifying strategies and projects to reduce safety risks. Illinois is estimated to receive $102 million in FY2022 and $533 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
Stronger investments in transit
While the IIJA maintains the traditional 80/20 percent split between highway and transit programs in the Highway Trust Fund, overall funding for transit increases by 63 percent. IIJA provides nearly $106 billion over the next five years in advanced appropriations and increased contract authority for transit programs. These include Urbanized Area Formula grants, State of Good Repair grants, Bus and Bus Facilities grants, and grants to Growing and High-Density States.
Illinois is estimated to receive $760 million in FY2022 and $3.9 billion over the FY2022-26 period in formula transit funding from the Highway Trust Fund.* With the inclusion of general fund transfers to formula HTF funding, northeastern Illinois (Chicago, IL-IN and Round Lake-McHenry, IL-WI) is estimated to receive $784.6 million in FY2022 and more than $4 billion over the FY2022-2026 period.*
The bill nearly doubles competitive funding for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program to $23 billion (between general fund authorizations and advanced appropriations) over five years. Under the IIJA, the CIG program will now require applicants to show they have or will make progress toward meeting performance targets for asset management.
In addition to overall funding increases for transit, the IIJA creates two new competitive programs. The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) will provide $1.75 billion in competitive funding over five years. ASAP will assist legacy rail systems, like those in the Chicago region, in upgrading stations to meet or exceed the standards of Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill also authorizes a new State of Good Repair competitive grant program, providing $1.5 billion over five years for replacing rail rolling stock.
A new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) program is authorized under the IIJA. The program will provide $1 billion in competitive funding over the next five years. States, regions, and public transportation authorities are eligible for this funding to conduct demonstration projects that support public transportation, improve mobility, incorporate innovative transportation technologies, and reduce congestion.
Passenger rail, freight, and multimodal infrastructure to see greater investments
Under IIJA, overall funding for passenger and freight rail networks will increase by 561 percent from current levels. IIJA provides more than $102 billion over the next five years in general fund authorizations and advanced appropriations for passenger and freight rail. General fund authorizations make up $36 billion of that funding for Amtrak’s state-supported routes like those in Illinois.
The other programs supported by those general fund authorizations include Intercity Passenger Rail grants and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant program. The IIJA also expands project eligibility for the Intercity Passenger Rail grant program to include a focus on improved performance. This expansion allows for the replacement or repair of infrastructure and other equipment needed to achieve a state of good repair. The CRISI program has been changed to allow the non-federal share to be used for past preliminary engineering costs related to projects that improve highway-rail grade crossings and prevent trespassing.
This funding also supports a new Railroad Crossing Elimination Program and provides $5.5 billion in competitive funding over five years to states, regions, and local governments to eliminate highway-rail grade crossings frequently blocked by freight activity.
IIJA also kept the funding level for the Rail-Highway Grade Crossing (Section 130) formula program steady at $1.255 billion over five years. But it increased the federal share from 90 to 100 percent. The IIJA also removes the requirement that half of the state’s apportionment for these funds be used for installing protective devices at crossings. Illinois is estimated to receive $11.3 million in FY2022 and $56.5 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
The IIJA creates a new Bridge Investment Program that includes $27.5 billion in funding over five years. The formula program supports states’ efforts to replace bridges, as well as rehabilitation, preservation, protection, and other construction. The overall Bridge Investment Program also sets aside 15 percent for local bridges.
The IIJA also creates a new competitive program to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of people and freight over bridges. The competitive program is funded at more than $9 billion over five years. It is open to states, regions, and local governments. Under this program, other federal funding assistance may be used as the non-federal share up to 90 percent of total funding. Illinois is estimated to receive an annual average of $274.6 million beginning in FY2022 and $1.373 billion over the FY2022-26 period.*
When the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA grant program) was first created, a cap was placed on multimodal projects. The IIJA reauthorizes this competitive program at $3.2 billion over five years and increases the multimodal eligibility from 11 percent of funding over the life of the bill to 30 percent annually. Similarly, the multimodal cap for the National Highway Freight formula program was raised from 10 percent to 30 percent annually. Funding for this program, which supports statewide freight projects, remained steady at $7.15 billion over five years. Illinois is estimated to receive $49.3 million in FY2022 and $256.6 million over the FY2022-26 period.*
The IIJA creates a new competitive program, called the National Infrastructure Project Assistance, to support nationally and regionally significant transportation megaprojects. The new program is appropriated at $10 billion over five years and eligibility covers most multimodal transportation projects.
Funding and financing to test new transportation revenue collection
Under the IIJA, the contract authority for Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) increases to $313.5 billion. The Mass Transit Account also stands to receive nearly a $70 billion increase, bringing the total contract authority to more than $383 billion.
Since 2008, the HTF has required non-transportation revenue infusions of $153.5 billion. IIJA continues this trend as it transfers $118 billion from the general fund. A primary revenue source for the HTF, the federal motor fuel tax (MFT) has not been raised since 1993. The rate remains at 18.3 cents per gallon on gasoline purchases and 24.3 cents per gallon on diesel purchases.
While the federal MFT was not raised or indexed to inflation, the IIJA establishes a new National Motor Vehicle Per-Mile User Fee Pilot. The U.S. Department of Transportation would direct the new pilot program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Treasury. It will test a per-mile user fee for passenger vehicles and light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks, with a goal of including volunteer participants from all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.
The IIJA also renews and renames the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives Program as Strategic Innovation for Revenue Collection. In addition to supporting state efforts to test the feasibility of a road usage charge, the program will be expanded to MPOs and local governments, with the federal share increasing from 70 to 80 percent.
The IIJA also establishes a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility and demand of a toll credit exchange marketplace between states. Ten states will be eligible to participate and exchange toll credits to cover the non-federal share of transportation projects. The IIJA also directs the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with states, to conduct a study determining the direct costs of different types of highway uses. The study will recommend revenue options to fully cover the costs associated with highway use. This will include potential changes to existing revenue streams and the creation of new user fee-based revenues.
CMAP will continue to monitor the implementation of the IIJA over the coming months to ensure northeastern Illinois is taking full advantage of the funding opportunities within the bill.