Guest Commentary: With President Obama’s proposal for a new $100 billion infrastructure jobs package still on the table, there has never been a better time for our industry to talk seriously about how we build and design American infrastructure. And, with the U.S. currently ranked at 16th place in terms of global infrastructure – falling from a previous ranking of 6th – engineering and construction firms will be challenged to find new ways to better build or retrofit infrastructure when this new funding becomes available.
As we wait for the final infrastructure job bills, the question firms have to ask themselves is, “How can we not only position ourselves to bid on new infrastructure projects, but also execute the projects more effectively and sustainably in the long run?” While there is no easy answer, I assure you that throwing money at the problem certainly won’t be the way we revive infrastructure design and management. Instead, at its core, our country’s infrastructure challenges are as much about processes as they are about money. We need to take a hard look at these processes and leverage the advanced technologies available to improve design and construction efficiency, collaboration as well as project and information management.