Bay Area Edition | January 2022


TOP TRANSPORTATION STORIES TO WATCH IN 2022 Mobility groups plan for federal funds from$1.2 trillion bill


ROADMAP TO FUNDING Once Congress approves funding in 2022, local governments and planning groups coordinate to receive funds.

President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law Nov. 6, providing funds for projects nationwide. Texas is expected to get about $35 billion of that funding, while existing federal aid programs will receive an inux of $265.4 billion over ve years, according to Chandra Bhat, the director of the Center for Transportation Research at The University of Texas. Craig Raborn, transportation director of metropolitan planning organization Houston-Galveston Area Council, said entities in the Greater Houston area will have 11 new grant programs to apply for. Raborn said the bill’s broad scope will increase funding to programs, such as the Surface Transportation Block Grant, which is seeing a 24% increase in funding. “It’s a big bill; there’s a lot in it,” Raborn said. “And so it’s going to take a lot of time for agencies like ours to nd and match the pieces to the needs they have.” Raborn also highlighted new pro- grams that could target resiliency and ood control as areas of inter- est, such as the PROTECT Program, which provides up to $8.7 billion to help reinforce surface transporta- tion routes and evacuation routes. However, Raborn cautioned that other federal funding and regulatory hurdles needed to be cleared before HGAC or other planning organi- zations can begin discussing how funding will be allocated. “It’s going to take a fair amount of time for [all of the funding announcements] to work their way through their processes before we start seeing that,” he said. Once the new appropriations bill makes its way through Congress in 2022, Raborn said HGAC plans to get public input into future trans- portation planning in the spring. HGAC is updating the region’s four-year, 10-year and 25-year

PROJECT SELECTION Metropolitan planning

organizations, or MPOs, such as the Houston-Galveston Area Council, add projects to plans. INPUT Local governments and the public provide input on projects to prioritize. PROJECT DESIGN The MPO sends its project recommendations to the state, which works out design details with the local government. CONTRACTS Local and state governments administer contracts for project construction.




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transportation plans, which will receive input from the public and local governments before informing the state of the prioritized projects to receive funds. Raborn said updates could be complete by the rst and second quarters of 2023. He said it is too early to tell how much of the funding the Greater Houston area will receive and which projects will be allotted funds. Susan Lent, an adviser to the city of Houston, said the city might be a candidate for a $1.4 billion grant for weather preparation projects, a $250 million congestion relief pro- gram and a $3 billion railroad grade crossing elimination program. Construction could begin soon on a high-speed rail from Houston to Dallas by privately owned Texas Central. Lent said a $36 billion pro- gram for high-speed rail lines is for governmental entities, but private

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Proud to be physician owned. Houston Physicians’ Hospital complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. Houston Physicians’ Hospital cumple con las leyes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo.

entities can be subrecipients. Shawn Arrajj contributed to this report.



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