Technology advancements, aging infrastructure systems, and shifting populations are bringing more and more change to the infrastructure industry. It is important, and difficult, to find a balance among leveraging exciting new technologies, adhering to existing regulations, and keeping costs to a minimum to make the most of limited budgets. Keeping track of industry trends is essential in a rapidly changing field. Here’s a few you need to know about:
Increased Funding for Infrastructure Projects in Fiscal Year 2017
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee recently approved the fiscal year 2017 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development funding bill which provides the Department of Transportation with a $540 million increase above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The implication from the increased DOT funding, specifically through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, is the potential increase in infrastructure projects.
New Public-Private Partnership Opportunities Possible Down the Road
Historically, citizens have relied on the government, at the federal, state, and local levels, to fund and maintain civil infrastructure. As a result of political considerations and the state of the global economy, the appetite for infrastructure projects has far exceeded the government’s financial means to provide the needed and desired infrastructure. New legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) proposes adding public buildings to the list of facilities that qualify for Private Activity Bonds (PABs). Traditionally limited to public infrastructure projects, allowing PABs to fund public buildings could bring private investment into building and designing schools, libraries, and more, as well as create new public-private partnerships. In many communities, building improvements and new facilities are much-needed, but currently impossible to fund.
How BIM Technology is Impacting the Infrastructure Industry
Increased funding and new funding sources are critical in the infrastructure industry today—as is maximizing the return on investment in civil infrastructure. In order to get the most out of the investments that are being made today, new technology must be leveraged in projects. The rise of building information modeling (BIM) provides more data to improve the efficiency of projects and reduce risk and loss. Doing those things can entice further investment in infrastructure, from public and private sources, to further improve the overall system. BIM can also help you choose the best projects and the best way to complete the chosen projects, further maximizing the return on investment in infrastructure.
Join U.S. CAD at one of our upcoming free seminars in Los Angeles on June 16th or Anaheim on June 22nd to learn more about these industry trends and what’s new in 2017 technology for government agencies.
About the Author: Chris Keck, P.E.
Chris Keck is the Director of Professional Services at U.S CAD. He has more than a decade of experience in the engineering industry and is a licensed civil engineer. Prior to joining U.S. CAD, Mr. Keck served in several capacities at an ENR Top 500 Firm. He has experience in business systems, project management, public and private development, and was integral in the implementation of Autodesk Civil 3D and CRM solutions in his prior roles. He is an advocate for the advancement of technology in our industry and is experienced in identifying cost-effective implementations for optimizing design applications and business. As the Director of Professional Services at U.S. CAD, Mr. Keck oversees the entire consulting and training business unit which includes team members well versed in IT, Infrastructure, Architecture, MEP, and more. Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him Twitter!