Both federal and state authorities acknowledge the essential improvements required to modernize America's physical and digital infrastructure. But, as past hurdles in addressing infrastructure have highlighted, government officials also understand the challenges of updating such infrastructure on constrained local government budgets.
Fortunately, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was enacted to distribute infrastructure grant money to state and local governments. Florida received a significant share of this funding, reflecting its critical contribution to the national economy and its rapidly expanding population of millions.
But how can Florida municipalities leverage these federal infrastructure grant funds? And which infrastructure projects are the highest priority and specifically earmarked for Florida local governments to allocate funds towards. Follow along for everything you need to know about infrastructure bill funds for Florida, and specific actions local governments can take to apply these grant dollars.
How is the Infrastructure Bill Being Applied in Florida?
In February 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released a press release about Building a Better America in Florida highlighting the amount of infrastructure funds being distributed to the Sunshine State and the various infrastructure projects being prioritized based on Florida’s specific needs and unique local challenges.
“To date, $8.1 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has been announced and is headed to Florida with over 175 specific projects identified for funding. Since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed, Florida will receive approximately $6.3 billion for transportation to invest in roads, bridges, public transit, ports and airports and roughly $275 million for clean water. And, as of today, more than 1,186,000 households across the state are receiving affordable high-speed internet due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Many more projects will be added in the coming months, as funding opportunities become grant awards and as formula funds become specific projects. By reaching communities all across Florida – including rural communities and historically underserved populations – the law makes critical investments that will improve lives for Floridians and position the state for success.”
Announcements for upcoming projects will persist as state and local governmental agencies develop strategic plans for particular initiatives and allocate grant funding.
What Types of Infrastructure Funding Does the Bill Prioritize for Florida?
1. High-Speed Internet Investment
In June 2023, the Biden admin announced $1.17 billion in BEAD Broadband Grant funds from the Infrastructure Bill to bring Floridians across the state into the digital age.
In a statement from Joe Biden, the President was highlighted saying, ““High-speed internet is no longer a luxury – it is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school, access health care, and to stay connected with family and friends. Yet, more than 8.5 million households and small businesses are in areas where there is no high-speed internet infrastructure, and millions more struggle with limited or unreliable internet options.”
Infrastructure funding for the Sunshine State will back 22 initiatives spread over 19 counties, focusing on the setup and roll-out of fiber optic cable and fixed wireless networks.
Why Should Florida Local Governments Invest in High-Speed Internet?
According to the Florida infrastructure bill grant press release from the White House, 22% of Floridians do not have an Internet subscription. For your citizens’ quality of life and municipality driven local economic development opportunities, these statistics are alarming.
While Florida is an attractive destination for business investment, poor internet connectivity in your community can overshadow even the state's tax advantages when it comes to attracting business investment. Businesses can’t form within your jurisdiction and citizens can’t work from their homes with no Internet, killing fantastic potential sources of revenue for your local government.
With high-speed Internet, your local economic development department can entice businesses and citizens to gain access to critical online information for schooling, government resources, healthcare, etc.
As for your local government, high-speed broadband Internet will allow your municipality to make a digital transformation by bringing government software in to improve government services for citizens and internal workflows.
Popular government software solutions include:
- Government cloud storage: move away from paper or on-site computer systems and securely store and access all government data directly from the Internet.
- Digital construction permitting: accept permitting applications online and approve them digitally.
- Building inspection software: perform property inspections quickly and effectively using online forms from a government device.
2. Roads & Bridges
“In Florida, there are 408 bridges and over 3,564 miles of highway in poor condition. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild our roads and includes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. Based on formula funding alone, Florida is expected to receive approximately $13.3 billion over five years in federal funding for highways and bridges.”
Why Does Your Florida Local Government Need to Prioritize Vehicle Infrastructure?
Neglecting the upkeep of roads and bridges in your jurisdiction compromises the safety of the residents you're responsible for. Although the U.S. was once celebrated for its world-class infrastructure, its current ranking is in decline.
Prioritizing the improvement of local roads and bridges should be a key element in your government's strategic plan, particularly if inadequate public transportation options force residents to rely primarily on personal vehicles for commuting.
3. Public Transit
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history. Based on formula funding alone, Florida would expect to receive about $2.8 billion over five years under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve public transit across the state. 1This funding will expand healthy, sustainable transportation options in Florida… 1 in 6 transit vehicles in the state are currently past useful life.”
Why Should Your Municipality Invest in Public Transit?
Allocating funds to public transportation and improving community access through both the upkeep of current infrastructure and the creation of new assets can simplify travel for Floridians across their expansive state.
Expanding bus and train services, along with pedestrian-friendly areas and cycling lanes, can facilitate easier movement for residents, even those without cars, while also providing better access to local amenities, public spaces, and employment opportunities.
Enhancing the accessibility of your community to visitors, both from within Florida and elsewhere, can significantly contribute to your local economic development initiatives.
4. Disaster Resilience
“More frequent hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves, floods, unprecedented power outages, and persistent droughts devastate our communities and threaten our infrastructure. In the last decade, Florida has experienced 73 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $260 billion in damages. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes a historic investment to bolster our resilience against pressing challenges like impacts of climate change, extreme weather events, and other hazards like cyberattacks.”
How Florida Local Governments Can Prioritize Disaster Preparedness With Infrastructure Grants
Utilizing government emergency management software and forging a crisis communications plan are essential for local governments in Florida. Given the state’s frequent natural disasters and billions of dollars in infrastructure bill grants, investing in disaster resilient infrastructure is a wise allocation of your local government budget.
Here are Government Tips for Mitigating Flooding given the state’s long history with hurricanes and floods.
Cybersecurity is covered under the infrastructure bill disaster resilience grants too. Here are Government Cybersecurity Best Practices, Real-Life Government Data Breach Examples & Lessons, and a helpful IT Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in Florida to “lead pipe and service line replacement” as well as additional, “safe drinking water investments.”
Why Should Florida Local Governments Invest in Water Infrastructure?
Florida's local governments have pressing reasons to invest in water infrastructure, not least of which is the state's vulnerability to climate change effects like rising sea levels, increased flooding, and more frequent hurricanes. As a state with an extensive coastline and a dependence on tourism, ensuring clean and readily available water is not just an environmental imperative but also an economic one.
Aging pipes, sewage systems, and water treatment facilities need upgrading to meet the challenges of the 21st century, including growing populations and increasing water quality standards. A failure to invest can lead to public health crises, reduced property values, and tarnished reputations that can deter both businesses and tourists.
“The [bill] invests $7.5 billion to build the first-ever national network of electric vehicle chargers in the United States… Through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program alone, Florida should expect to receive more than $198 million in formula funding over five years to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging in the state.
Why Invest in EV Infrastructure?
Local governments have a crucial role to play in investing in EV infrastructure. Upgrading to an EV-friendly infrastructure can significantly reduce the community's carbon footprint, aiding in the fight against climate change, leading to improved local air quality and sustainability.
Investing in EV infrastructure can also be a powerful catalyst for local economic development. The construction and maintenance of charging stations create jobs and can attract businesses, residents, and visitors who see value in a more sustainable and forward-thinking community.
Here are more Ways your Local Government Can Prioritize Sustainability.
7. Clean Energy
“To date, approximately $151.6 million has been allocated to Florida for clean energy, energy efficiency, and power in 2022 and 2023,” for projects including weatherization, state energy programs, and power grid upgrades.
Upgrade Your Local Infrastructure in Florida with GovPilot
Government software solutions like GovPilot can help your locality leverage its new digital infrastructure to improve government workflows and citizen services. Additionally, features like digital permit and license applications allow municipalities to approve paperwork for construction projects quicker, allowing your Florida local government to get infrastructure projects done more quickly.
To learn more about how, book a free 15-minute consultation.
Florida Infrastructure Grant Funds FAQs
What Ways Can Florida Upgrade Infrastructure Through Infrastructure Bill Funds?
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill put billions of grant dollars into Florida infrastructure projects, including the following types:
- High-speed broadband internet
- Bridges and roads
- Clean energy
- Waterways and ports
- Public transportation
- Disaster resilience
- Cleaning up pollution
How Can Florida Invest in Digital Infrastructure?
Public sector software simplifies the automation of workflows in counties and municipalities with online permit and license applications and public record storage in the Azure government cloud. When you invest in municipal technology, all future infrastructure project workflows will be simplified and easier to approve quickly.
Learn more about the Benefits of Government Technology.
- AI in Government: Bringing Artificial Intelligence to Your Municipality
- How Municipalities Can Drive Local Economic Development
- Customer Experience (CX) in Government: Transforming Local Government Citizen Relations
- What is Azure for Government? Everything to Know
- 7 Local Government Fleet Management Tips: Manage Vehicles & Assets
- How Mobile Devices Are Transforming Local Government Work in the Field
- Local Government Vacant Property Management: Combating Blight and Driving Economic Development
- What California’s Budget Means for Local Governments’ IT Infrastructure, Broadband Internet, & More
- What is Municipal Software? Understanding Government Software for Municipalities & Counties