With a Big Surge in Transportation Funding, a State Decides Its Spending Priorities

Michigan expects its annual cut of federal highway dollars to rise by a third in the coming years. Here’s how the state is thinking about putting the extra cash to use.

Bill Would Offer Grants to Boost Use of Drones to Inspect Infrastructure

One of the U.S. senators backing the legislation says it would "help local governments invest in drones and skilled workers to ensure America’s existing infrastructure remains safe.” 

Biden Signs Semiconductor Bill, Spurring Hopes for New Jobs and Manufacturing Around the US

The $54.2 billion measure drew broad support from local leaders, who believe their regions could benefit. “We need to make these chips here in America," the president said.

Feds Offer Greater Flexibility to Use ARPA Money for Housing

Counties welcomed the updated American Rescue Plan Act guidance. With rents and home prices high, the Biden administration is urging states and localities to put some of their federal pandemic aid towards housing programs.

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New Tools Help State and Local Governments Battle Ransomware, Other Big Disasters

When governments find themselves being ransomed, their choices are typically to pay, which will undercut their ability to deliver key services to their communities due to budget restrictions, or not pay, resulting in the immediate inability to serve their communities and the loss of key data that will inevitably plague them for years afterwards.

The Nation’s Most Ambitious Train Station Renovation Projects

New York City is looking at a major rail station makeover. But around the country, other noteworthy projects were completed in recent years or are now in the works.

Senate Package Has $3B for Communities Cut Apart by Highways

The “neighborhood access and equity grants” would supplement earlier funding in the infrastructure law and could go towards a range of projects. About a third of the money is earmarked for lower-income areas.

Senate Approves Rollback of Biden’s Infrastructure Permitting Rules

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin joined Republicans in voting for the plan, which has the backing of business and labor groups. It still faces a vote in the House and a likely veto. Even so, supporters see hope for permitting changes on the horizon.

A Staggering Backlog of Transit Upgrades Is Stacking Up

New federal funding from the infrastructure law will help. But some older systems have deep problems, underscored by track fires, breakdowns and delays.

Texas Skirting Federal Environmental Law to Push For Highway Expansion

The state department of transportation says many of its highway projects have “no significant impact.”

Transit Agencies Vulnerable to Cyber Threats, Researchers Warn

They say the sector is in need of a "twenty-first century security upgrade" and that physical infrastructure is sometimes supported by obsolete software.

Debunking Stereotypes About Mobile Homes Could Make Them a New Face of Affordable Housing

COMMENTARY | Over 20 million Americans live in manufactured housing. Yet many people, including urban planners and affordable housing researchers, see mobile homes as problematic.

Bill Aims To Reclassify Broadband As Essential To Promote Net Neutrality

Two Democratic senators unveiled a new bill to codify broadband as an essential service and prevent discriminatory practices.

A $7.3B Pot of Money to Prepare Infrastructure for Climate Change

The new federal funding aims to make transportation assets, like roads, transit systems and ports more resilient to flooding, wildfires and other extreme weather and climate threats.

6 Things For State and Local Governments to Watch With Democrats' Climate and Tax Deal

With billions in proposed spending, the package could affect both government programs and regional economies.

Unexpected Deal Renews Hope for Billions in Climate Funding

The agreement, struck by key Democrats in the U.S. Senate and backed by President Biden, could mean a huge influx of federal dollars for environment and clean energy initiatives.

Checking in With Mitch Landrieu on the Infrastructure Law

President Biden’s top advisor on the $1.2 trillion package tells Route Fifty that 5,000 projects across the country are underway, and that the White House is meeting regularly with state infrastructure coordinators. He also knocked Republicans wavering on the transition to electric vehicles.

Rural Areas in 11 States to Receive $401M for High-speed Internet

The Agriculture Department says the grants and loans will help to improve service for 31,000 customers.

Why Cities and Towns See a Huge Economic Opportunity in the Semiconductor Bill

As the legislation cleared the Senate on Wednesday, local leaders from tiny Taylor, Texas, to metropolitan Phoenix were eying the investment and jobs it could bring to their communities.

New Grants Now Available to Make Local Rail Stations ADA Compliant

The federal funding is aimed at retrofitting a portion of the more than 900 subway, commuter rail and light rail stations built before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.

How Rural Communities Can Receive the Digital Infrastructure Support They Need

COMMENTARY | Bridging the rural-urban digital divide will depend on fundamental shifts in how we deploy money towards infrastructure in rural areas.