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Local Impact of the CARES Act and Potential New Infrastructure Bill

Albert E. Dotson, Jr.

We recently wrote about the CARES Act and the new, separate infrastructure bill going through the legislative process. The Act created $500 billion in aid for state and local governments, and these funds could directly impact major projects on the horizon in Miami-Dade County.

For example, the CARES Act provides $10 billion in flexible funding for airport improvements that could be used for Miami International Airport. Miami-Dade County recently approved a new $5 billion capital improvement program at Miami International Airport, a critical next step for the ever-growing airport. This is exactly the type of project that the Federal Aviation Administration is looking to provide these new funds for—to ensure that critical modernization and safety projects go forward as planned. The CARES Act also provides funding for local transportation agencies through the Federal Transit Administration. These funds can be utilized by Miami-Dade County to support the implementation of the SMART Plan, which is well underway with the proposals for the Beach Corridor submitted in March and the issuance of a solicitation for the North Corridor imminent. The Act also provides funding for hospitals and public health centers that could surely offer aid for the Jackson Health System and other facilities responding to COVID-19.

While it is unclear what the pending infrastructure bill will bring, it could likely have an impact on the foregoing projects and other local projects in the pipeline. We will be sure to keep you updated on the effect of that bill, as well as the funding and expanded contracting authority provided by the CARES Act on national and local infrastructure improvements.

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