The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Biden on Nov. 15, will provide $17 billion for ports and waterways infrastructure, including $2.5 billion of 100% federal funding for inland waterways construction and major rehabilitation projects, and $4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers operations and maintenance.

The bill also includes an increase in funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program from $230 million in fiscal year 2021 to $455 million a year for the next five years. The law also formally establishes the Made in America Office, which works to ensure that federal procurement processes support U.S. workers and businesses and maintain the integrity of the Jones Act.

About two-thirds of the $17 billion is expected to be used for construction and major habitat restoration projects, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, and the rest for operations and maintenance and other projects.

This infrastructure bill includes a total of $2.5 billion of 100% federal funding for authorized Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) construction and major rehabilitation projects on inland waterways. Projects will receive priority based on the recommendations included in the Corps 2020 Capital Investment Strategy. The Corps’s Operations and Maintenance account under the Civil Works mission is expected to receive $4 billion, the USDA said.

Within 60 days of the bill’s enactment, the Corps's Chief of Engineers must submit a project-specific spending plan to House and Senate appropriations committees.

The American Waterways Operators applauded the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“This legislation demonstrates the bipartisan support for modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and will provide critical funding to keep America’s vital waterborne commerce moving,” said AWO President and CEO Jennifer Carpenter. “The tugboat, towboat and barge industry is essential to our nation’s economy and security, and has played a key role in helping the United States navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and recent global supply chain disruptions. This funding for ports and waterways infrastructure will ensure that our industry can continue to move cargo safely and efficiently, and we look forward to working alongside the administration and Congress to ensure its smooth implementation.”