Atlanta — Oct 28, 2022
The Atlanta Regional Commission today announced the establishment of the Atlanta Regional Infrastructure Consortium, which is designed to best position metro Atlanta to compete for discretionary grants through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
The consortium brings together transportation planners and subject matter experts from agencies who can provide technical and regional perspectives on water, energy, and broadband programs from across metro Atlanta to identify, coordinate and prioritize projects to compete for funding through the federal legislation
The 2021 infrastructure law significantly increases funding for transportation projects while also expanding the definition of infrastructure to provide funding opportunities in areas such as water, energy, and broadband. Much of the funding will be distributed through competitive programs that give priority to collaborative applications that cross city or county lines and provide regional solutions.
“The Regional Infrastructure Consortium is carefully designed to help metro Atlanta increase the chances of securing the highly competitive federal infrastructure funding we need to transform our region and build a better future for all residents,” said Ann Roach, ARC Executive Director and CEO. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our region. We must make the most of it.”
The infrastructure consortium is designed to:
- Identify regional project opportunities, including multijurisdictional opportunities, that align with the federal criteria for priority IIJA programs
- Coordinate the development of federal grant applications and work with jurisdictions to develop a proactive approach to pursuing discretionary funds
- Prioritize coordination efforts on those IIJA grants that are most closely aligned with the priorities of the region
- And ultimately present the recommended, prioritized list to an Infrastructure Caucus made up of elected ARC Board members for final approval.
An analysis by Deloitte, commissioned by ARC, found that metro Atlanta has not fared well on competitive transportation grants and noted the success of regions where jurisdictions collaborated on joint applications. Between 2007-2022, the Atlanta region received just nine of the available 933 grants awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s main discretionary programs: five to the City of Atlanta, two to GDOT, and two to MARTA.
“We simply can’t do things the way we always have and expect different results when it comes to applying for federal infrastructure grants,” said ARC Chief Operating Officer Mike Alexander. “The infrastructure consortium and caucus provide a strong foundation to improve our chance of success and help shape the region’s future.”
Earlier this year, ARC launched an education and outreach effort designed to help local officials better understand the infrastructure law and maximize available funding. The agency developed a comprehensive resource on the ARC website to house critical news and information related to the legislation, including a customized, interactive search tool to make it easy for officials to explore meaningful grant opportunities.
ARC serves as the Atlanta region’s Metropolitan Planning Association and is responsible for developing and maintaining the long-range Regional Transportation Plan, in collaboration with local governments and transportation agencies. Any projects that utilize federal funding must be part of the long-range plan.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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