Killing two (or even three) birds with one stone is becoming the rallying cry of cities around the country as they aim to reduce the amount of costs, disruptions to citizens when projects need to be completed, and most importantly, land federal funding grants for infrastructure projects.
To improve chances of winning the money, municipalites are hiring infrastructure coordinators who assess ways projects impact multiple systems and then plan out varying projects to reduce the amount inconvenience to business areas and residential areas and reduce costs, with the main goal of securing government grant money.
The strategy is to coordinate with construction and utility companies to hammer out projects in "one dig" shots. If a road needs to be opened up for sewer repairs, town officials will also contract work to be done on other projects. This limits the amount of time roads, buildings, and other infrastructure need to be rendered unusable while work is being completed.
Officials say cities that end up landing the funding will show their projects will satisfy economic, equity and climate goals with long lasting effects. This will require jurisdictions, once pitted against each other in competition, to work together.
Smaller cities looking to land federal infrastructure funding are at a disadvantage as many are unable to afford a coordinator on thier payroll. And then there's always the challenge of getting everyone to agree with plans and funding, especially when some communties often come out on the short end of the stick.
Some communities are creative infrastructure teams made up of officials from different departments to plan project strategies. Smaller communities are also partnering with planning organizations to pursue grants as a group.