Hops & Highways S2 E10: Progress on BIL, Biden's Vaccine Mandate Blocked + Five Keys to a Successful Bid

Wondering what Washington has done to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill since it was signed 60 days ago? Jess & Dormie break down that news and more this week on the show

It's been 60 days since Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Have there been any funds released from the $1.2 trillion legislation? Jess & Dormie break down the progress of the BIL implementation. 

We also discuss the Supreme Court Ruling to block  enforcement of the OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers of 100 or more pending that case’s litigation.

Finally, we share five tips for submitting a successful bid to a government agency. Tips you'll want to know as those BIL projects come down the pipeline. Thanks for joining us!

J: It’s been 60 days today since Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which will invest $1.2 trillion over five years to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and the country has been wondering when they might see the impact of this investment. The Biden Administration has been busy working internally to implement the BIL, but it's important to note that the legislation was not designed as a stimulus bill that would give an immediate boost to the economy, but instead as a longer-term approach to rebuilding American competitiveness through infrastructure.

D: This means it’s going to be a busy few months inside Washington and across the country as the BIL implementation begins. Federal agencies, like the Departments of Transportation and Energy, are busy figuring out how to implement the law and get money safely out the door. In the 60 days since the bill was signed, the Administration has made key progress towards implementing the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.

J: In a news conference today, President Biden said the Administration has "hit the ground running implementing the legislation" and will continue to do so in the months ahead. In the two months since the BIL was signed, there has been some progress made and we want to share that with you all. 

  • The US Department of Transportation has released $53 billion to modernize highways for FY2022

  • The USDOT and Federal Highway Administration announced $27 billion in funding to replace, repair and rehabilitate bridges across the country - and we’re going to talk about this a little later as well.

  • $240 million in grants have been allocated to improve ports in 19 states which will  speed up and strengthen supply chains

  • $3 billion has been announced for 3,075 airports across the country to make them more modern, safe and sustainable


J: Implementing this massive program will continue to require internal planning, internal and public review, hiring staff and building knowledge resources to stand-up these new operations but we’re happy to see progress being made and we’ll drink to that!

:::WE DRINK:::

D: News coming out of Washington yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision blocking enforcement of the OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers of 100 or more pending that case’s litigation. In summarizing the Court’s 6 to 3 majority opinion, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association points out that justices criticized the ETS as a quote “blunt instrument which” quote “draws no distinctions based on industry or risk of exposure to COVID-19,” while also noting it is, quote “telling that OSHA, in its half century of existence, has never before adopted a broad public health regulation of this kind – addressing a threat that is untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace.”

J: The Court, however, left the door open for more targeted regulations. They wrote, quote That is not to say OSHA lacks authority to regulate occupation-specific risks related to COVID–19. Where the virus poses a special danger because of the particular features of an employee’s job or workplace, targeted regulations are plainly permissible. We do not doubt, for example, that OSHA could regulate researchers who work with the COVID–19 virus. So too could OSHA regulate risks associated with working in particularly crowded or cramped environments.” 

D: In court filings, ARTBA, the Associated Builders and Contractors and many other groups contend the ETS exceeds OSHA’s authority. Litigation will now continue in the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati. While court proceedings move forward, employers will not have to comply with the ETS. We will continue to have coverage of this on our website, For Construction Pros dot com, but for now, we will have a drink.


J: We know that infrastructure across America is in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. In fact, there are more than 617,000 bridges across the United States. Currently, 42% of all bridges are at least 50 years old, and 46,154, or 7.5% of the nation’s bridges, are considered structurally deficient. 

D: After the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which will dedicate $1.2 trillion to our nations crumbling assets over the next five years, the Biden administration is launching a new multi-billion-dollar bridge investment program that will provide funds to repair bridges across the country using BIL money.

J: The program, which will be administered by the Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration, will provide $26.5 billion to states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and $825 million to tribes over the next five years to repair existing bridges and build new ones. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion.

D: The US DOT says the administration is allocating funds to states based on need, with states responsible for deciding what bridge projects will get funded. The funding for the current fiscal year will go out to states immediately, a senior administration official said, adding that the results could be seen as soon as the states get the projects underway. This historic $27 billion investment marks the nation’s biggest federal investment in bridges since construction on the interstate highway system, we will drink to that. 


J: In 2022, we know government work is going to be increasing due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law . Submitting a bid to a government agency can be a long and exhaustive process that’s why we are bringing you five key components of a successful government construction bid. If your company is going to take the time and effort to bid for state, local and education projects, we want to help you put your best foot forward.

D: That’s right Jess, Keep these five things in mind, starting with doing your research. Before submitting a bid, it’s a good idea to research the government department posting the RFP and past projects. What you learn will provide valuable information and insights to help inform what strategies you’ll use to complete the requested project.

J: Be sure to look up regulations. Government projects have different regulations than private sector projects. Make sure you look up all regulations for not only the specific government agency but for the city, county and state. It’s important that your bid take all regulations including state-specific EPA guidelines into account since obviously a government procurement agent won’t be able to move forward with your bid if the final product will be out of compliance.

D: It’s important to provide a detailed scope of work and schedule. Make sure to read the RFP carefully and then provide a detailed scope of work including a realistic timeline. This will communicate that you understand the project and are able and prepared to take the necessary steps to complete it properly and in a timely manner.

J: Be upfront and transparent about cost. Provide a thorough estimate that includes costs for materials, labor, specialized equipment and if you require a deposit. By communicating clearly about cost, you allow the government procurement agent to determine if your bid fits within budget and compare its competitiveness with other bids.

D: Finally, provide examples even if you haven’t done government work before. Provide samples that demonstrate how your experience in other similar projects will be an asset to the upcoming work.

J: In order to make your bid stand out, it’s important that it completely addresses all aspects of the RFP, communicates scope and costs clearly and establishes your competencies in the specific area of construction. Making sure your bid includes these five key components will increase the likelihood of getting through the selection process, in turn winning your company more government bids in 2022. 


J: Heading to WOC, close