How New Technologies Are Reshaping Construction, Creating Jobs, and Driving Economic Growth

Author: Katherine Flesh, VP of Industry Engagement

With the US DOT’s acceleration of its infrastructure modernization and improvement programs, we are entering into a pivotal phase in the growth and development of the US economy. The $1.2T Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is estimated to support more than 700,000 new jobs a year. These new jobs include 175,000 in manufacturing, 175,000 in construction, and 100,000 in transportation sectors which promise to increase access to reliable services and strengthen the country’s transportation system.

The IIJA marks a distinctive period in the history of transportation as modern technology is becoming increasingly vital for streamlining projects and improving outcomes for Owners. In addition to grant monies directed at revitalizing and rebuilding critical infrastructure, there is $100 Million in funding set aside for the adoption of innovative technologies, such as field inspection software and drones via discretionary grants.

The Integration of Innovative Technology in Rebuilding Our Nation’s Infrastructure

One of the significant IIJA benefits is the integration of innovative technology in digital delivery and construction inspection aimed at increasing the efficiency of the project delivery process. Digital inspection technology and drone usage allow Owners to inspect and document construction sites with greater precision and accuracy. In doing so, we can identify and address issues in real-time, minimizing the likelihood of road closures or construction delays.

For example, TranSystems completed the award-winning 41st Street Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge project six months ahead of schedule and under budget by leveraging their field data and inspection technology. TranSystems’ engineers and inspectors were able to accurately collect mission-critical data, collaborate with stakeholders in real-time, and easily view project documents and data stored on the cloud. The field team also gained the proper tools to create a digital field diary. The cumulative result allowed them to navigate the project with increased speed and finesse.

Highway and Bridge Investments Boosting Economic Growth Across US States

The IIJA is impacting each US state differently, with some receiving more significant funding than others. States such as Texas, California, and Florida will benefit the most due to their size and volume of construction projects. Across these states, the program is expected to create thousands of new jobs, foster economic growth, and increase access to reliable services.

The economic impact of highway and bridge infrastructure investment is notable. According to the Federal Highway Administration, every $1 billion invested supports at least 13,000 jobs. When it comes to public transportation, we see a 5 to 1 economic return. According to the interactive report from the White House, over $220 billion has been directed to public infrastructure, creating 13.1 million new jobs.

The Transformative Power of Technology

The $1.2T infrastructure law marks a significant turning point for the growth of the US economy and a lasting impact on our nation’s infrastructure. The integration of innovative technology in construction inspection and maintenance is making our workflows more efficient, improving the quality and sustainability of our infrastructure, and increasing public safety. As Owners, we continue to implement programs and projects infused with advanced technologies, we can expect a safer, more resilient, and sustainable future for the US.

Learn more about how HeadLight’s Solutions are used by state DOTs and other federally-funded entities.