The final Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Work Group Memo is now available and, overall, the memo is good news for counties, capturing the tentative agreements that were previously summarized. There are two changes in the memo to bring to your attention. Both are good news:
- The final memo provides a higher percentage of Surface Transportation Block Grant Program funds in years 3-5 (84%), which will bring us up to a five-year average of 79% and a much better total dollar amount than was originally reported.
- The memo also provides an additional year of PROTECT Funding (approximately $25 million) going to the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board, bringing the five-year total to $75 million.
Our local jurisdiction partners (Cities, Ports, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations) all deserve credit for coming together quickly around a complicated topic and succeeding in presenting a coordinated and unified message. WSAC’s representative on the workgroup, Pierce County Councilmember Ryan Mello, quickly became the local coalition’s spokesperson and deserves recognition for his role in negotiating a considerably better overall outcome for local governments.
We now transition back to continuing to make our case for increased local infrastructure funding in the months ahead and should start with holding our state partners accountable to this agreement in the coming legislative session.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Axel Swanson, Managing Director, Washington State Association of County Engineers (WSACE), with questions.