WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, leaders from across the infrastructure technology space announced the formation of the Coalition for Smarter Infrastructure Investments (CSII). The Coalition is asking Congress to adopt or incentivize the use of proven digital technologies that help build and maintain infrastructure in a more transparent, efficient, timely, and sustainable way. New infrastructure technologies include systems that automate workflows, produce 5D modeling, and ensure that resources are transported quickly and efficiently. The CSII was founded by Bentley Systems, Greenroads International, HaulHub Technologies, HeadLight, and Mott MacDonald – companies that represent the entire spectrum of digital infrastructure technology, with activities in the design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases of projects.
“We’re thrilled that Washington is finally focused on infrastructure and increasing much needed investment levels. With increased funding, it’s more important than ever to modernize how we design, build and manage infrastructure so that each dollar we invest goes further,” said Si Katara, Co-founder and President of HeadLight.
Infrastructure demands have grown more complex, but the processes used to design and manage infrastructure projects have largely been unchanged for decades, with many firms and public agencies still relying on pen-and-paper systems. As a result, construction projects face consistent cost and scheduling overruns. For example, large projects across asset classes typically take 20% longer to finish than scheduled with some projects as much as 80% over budget, according to a McKinsey analysis of the IHS Herold Global Projects Database.
“It would be crazy to pump hundreds of billions into new infrastructure projects while still relying on design and management systems that look like they are out of the 1930s,” noted David McKenney, Vice President of Bentley Systems. “America ranks only 13th in the world for infrastructure – we need to invest more to compete, but we also need to invest in a smarter way. Technology and data can help us do that.”
Digital technologies can reduce outdated paper-and-pencil processes, modernize legacy systems, and increase productivity. A Louisiana Department of Transportation study found inspector productivity increased by 28% after adopting a singular digital technology. In another case, the Michigan Department of Transportation reached a net benefit of over 6% in cost savings by reducing construction bids and change orders after implementing 3D modeling technology.
And as equity and environmental mitigation are increasingly important parts of the infrastructure debate, only better adoption of infrastructure technology can give policymakers the data and projects they need to make better decisions. In addition to the emissions reductions that come with more efficient infrastructure design and delivery, these new technologies can improve natural disaster resilience and measure and mitigate a project’s impact on low-income communities.
“Infrastructure is unique in that it defines our commitment to societal betterment. The road to a greener, more equitable future is through technological improvements that can make infrastructure work for all communities,” said Joe Spinelli, founder and CEO of HaulHub Technologies.
The Coalition has retained Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLC to represent its interests in Washington, D.C. to leverage opportunities wherever the better use of technology can help achieve public infrastructure goals, including in the American Jobs Plan, the highway surface transportation bill, the water resources development act, and more.
To learn more about the Coalition, its steering committee, and its mission, visit https://infrastructurecoalition.org.
Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP