Turning America’s dreams into reality for better infrastructure will not come without it’s fair share of potholes. However, the adoption of innovation and technology will help streamline the current hang nails & future obstacles that lie in the distance.
To build a modern nation, we must adopt modern technology. Not just for now but for the future. But the question remains at the city, county, and state level if in fact this adoption will be met with resistance or with open arms.
According to McKinsey, construction projects typically run up to 80 percent over budget and take 20 percent longer than scheduled to finish. For big projects, such as highways, airports and railways, this can add up to billions of dollars and decades of delays. Even on smaller projects, every day and taxpayer dollar counts. Layer on the unprecedented level of coordination and reporting required to take advantage of federal infrastructure funding, and government entities of all sizes are staggering under the weight of finding a way to take advantage of this golden opportunity while also meeting all the requirements that come with it.
So what’s the solution? Short answer- Technology
Ditching paper construction plans in lieu of digital designs and adopting innovations that include operator-assisted machine control on jobsites, and analytics-driven project and asset management software that will enable infrastructure owners and their partners to make better-informed decisions for decades to come.
Lifting the burden of reporting
One significant challenge that cities, states and counties are facing is the cascade of government agencies that have a role in allocating funds for infrastructure projects—and therefore, expect a high level of transparency and reporting on how those funds are spent. In many cases, funds for a single project can come from multiple sources, all of which entail specific requirements. Cities and counties are often not accustomed to this level of reporting complexity and, in general, are not equipped to provide such sophisticated tracking and reporting.
Crossing the digital design divide
Just as spreadsheets won’t get today’s job done, neither will paper-based project plans. Digital construction design and delivery is the way of the future—and when it comes to spending federal infrastructure dollars, the future is now.
Prioritizing project and asset management
Our back-of-napkin math—corroborated by decades of working with DOTs and other agencies—shows that approximately 80 percent of an infrastructure construction project’s cost lies in the ongoing maintenance of that asset, making it vital for city, county and state governments to adopt technology solutions that enable project owners to manage the entire lifecycle of their assets—from design to construction to maintenance and rehabilitation—all through a digital constructible model.
Tailoring technology to project requirements
A recent report from the Dodge Construction Network shows that nearly 60 percent of construction project owners—including city, county and state governments—report frequent breakdowns in communication between themselves and external project team members. Because digital tools can help bridge the communication gap between project teams, more than two-thirds are contractually requiring contractors to use at least some digital practices.