The 2 Probable Effects the New Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Will Have for Property Owners.

Real Estate Law

In August of 2021, Congress passed the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The bill, known as the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” (IIJA), became law on November 15, 2021.

The IIJA, which represents the government’s long-term plan to rebuild infrastructure throughout America, has dedicated $1 trillion in funding for capital projects across the United States. Billions of dollars have been appropriated for every kind of infrastructure upgrade—bridges, roads, highways, electrical grids, and so on.

According to 11 Alive News, Georgia is expected to receive $9.1 billion for roads and bridges in the first five years and is eligible to compete for additional billions of dollars in national funding for major projects.

While all of this may be good news, as Georgia will have funding to upgrade not only roads and bridges, but its airports and internet access as well as making other necessary infrastructure upgrades, the law will certainly have a number of impacts at both the state and local level.

While the new law will certainly have diverse impacts throughout the state, here are only 2 probable effects the IIJA may have for property owners:

  1. An increase in eminent domain proceedings

Regardless of whether the new infrastructure work will consist of building new roads and bridges or repairing existing structures, it is highly likely that Georgia, as well as other states will see an increase in the number of eminent domain proceedings.

Acting under its power of eminent domain, the government (or a governmental agency) has the power to “take” (or condemn) private property if it does so for a public purpose. When it does so, it must pay the property owner “just and adequate compensation.”

Given that the new law is one of the largest public use building programs we have seen in recent history, it only makes sense that there will be a corresponding increase in eminent domain proceedings as state and local governments carry out the law’s purpose of repairing and rebuilding old and failing infrastructure for public use.

  1. Neighborhood Improvements

While the loss of private property for public use may not come as a welcome thought to property owners, on the other hand, it is anticipated that the law’s focus on upgrading and repairing infrastructure state-wide will stand to benefit old neighborhoods and communities that are currently in disrepair.

This should be good news for neighborhoods with inadequate electrical lines, no internet access, or decrepit streets and sidewalks. The influx of money and new infrastructure should increase the property values in these areas.

While the IIJA represents a massive undertaking of extraordinary complexity, it may take some time for the funds to be channeled through and projects to begin. Nevertheless, the IIJA will be having a significant impact at all levels of government throughout the United States.


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