The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council received an update this week on the impact two federal pieces of legislation are having on the region in funding major transportation infrastructure and environmental projects.

In 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law. The IIJA reauthorized the surface transportation program for an additional five years and significantly increased funding above the baseline levels of the previous transportation bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Soon after, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law in 2022. These two bills have increased investment in the region by more than $675 million.

Federal transportation funding represents a major source of investment in the region. In just under three years, we’ve seen this federal funding make a difference in our communities,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who has served as chair of the MAG Regional Council for the last year. “From safer commutes to new, cleaner buses, these investments are protecting and improving lives in Maricopa County.”

In a presentation to the Regional Council, MAG staff said the region has seen an increase in federal formula highway funding of about $105 million per year associated with the IIJA, for a total projected increase of $525 million for the five-year period. This funding has been used to advance a number of projects, including interchange improvements on Interstate 10, final design of sections of State Route (SR) 24 and SR 30, funding to add additional lanes on Loop 101 and Loop 202, and accelerating an extension of the Loop 303 from 2027 to 2025, Funding also has helped relieve the pressure on local budgets as a result of recent economic challenges.

Transit funding also has increased $30 million per year as a result of IIJA, or a total projected increase of $130 million for the five-year life of the program. These funds have helped offset the substantial increase seen for the cost of transit vehicles.

The IIJA also has made significant investments toward competitive grant-based funding. Grant awards in the region include charging and fueling infrastructure to support multimodal electrification in Mesa, $95 million awarded to the Arizona Department of Transportation for the Gila River Indian Community I-10 widening project, funding for the City of Phoenix and Valley Metro for battery electric buses and charging infrastructure, and Safe Streets and Roads for All grants to eight cities and towns in the region.

The IRA was passed with the goal of improving the U.S. economy, providing for a secure energy network, and combatting the effects of climate change. The IRA included the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program, expanded tax credits for energy efficient commercial buildings, and funding for tree planting to help address the effects of extreme heat. Grants awarded as part of the IRA have brought more than $10 million dollars to the region.