The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is the largest long-term infrastructure investment in our nation’s history. It provides $1.2 trillion over five years, 2022 through 2026, in new federal funding.

Between the BIL and various State infrastructure grant programs, the City is poised to receive almost $1 billion in infrastructure funding over the next five years for roads, bridges, mass transit, water infrastructure, electric vehicle charging, broadband, etc.

Spearheading this work will be the Infrastructure Solutions Team (IST) led by the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS). The Infrastructure Solutions Team’s mission is to advance racial equity with the BIL funding. This will include increasing the amount of City contracts that go to historically underutilized businesses, while ensuring that infrastructure workers, from planning to construction, look more like the population of Philadelphia.

What jobs and industries will experience growth?

Increased funding from the BIL will spur the most growth in the following industries for Prime contractors:

  • Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction,
  • Commercial and Institutional Building Construction,
  • Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors,
  • Water and Sewer Line and Related Structures Construction, and
  • Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors

Demand for sub-contractors is anticipated in a range of industries including:

  • Contractors in specialties such as Poured Concrete and Precast Concrete, Framing, Masonry, Glass and Glazing, Foundation, Structure
  • Services like Transportation (trucking) and Warehousing, Landscaping, Architectural, Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, Administrative Management, Solid Waste Collection, Remediation
  • Manufacturing including Concrete, Cement, Brick, Stone, Asphalt Paving

Training and recruiting for workers in occupations within these industries include:

  • Construction Laborers
  • Construction Equipment Operators
  • Electricians
  • Operating Engineers
  • Carpenters

What is the City’s strategy for selecting and implementing projects?

The Infrastructure Solutions Team is working closely with other departments such as Streets, Planning Commission, Office of Sustainability, and Office of Information Technology to support and coordinate BIL grant applications. OTIS will continue its work with the Mayor’s Policy Office to develop a racial equity prioritization tool for multiple departments and agencies to use when scoping projects and preparing grant submissions. OTIS is collaborating with Streets to develop a list of upcoming capital improvement projects that can be prioritized and aligned with grant opportunities as they are made available by funders.

Has the City been successful in implementing its strategy one year into the BIL?

During first and second year of the BIL, the City has been awarded new grants and financing:

  • $138.4 million for streets, sidewalks, intersections, and transportation infrastructure to Department of Streets and OTIS.
  • $116.9 million for cargo development, airfield improvements and terminal upgrades to PHL Airport.
  • $30 million for airport terminals and restroom upgrades to PHL Airport.
  • $753.2 million in federal loans and grants for water systems upgrades to PWD.
  • $103,950 in grants for project scoping for Germantown Wingohocking Creek Flood Risk Reduction.
  • Technical assistance to support flood resiliency strategy in Eastwick to Office of Sustainability.

The City’s ultimate take from the BIL will depend on the City’s ability to win grants and deliver projects. The City’s proposed operating budget includes $22 million annually over five years to maximize funding and deliver projects. This includes funds for approximately 170 new staff positions.

What is next?

The City will identify the key metrics to evaluate progress of the IST efforts to grow generational wealth for Philadelphians as federal funding is invested, and infrastructure projects are implemented. Later this year, the City will publish these metrics and how we are moving forward with our partners.