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May 10, 2024

Construction Technology Becomes a Focus of Federal Infrastructure Funding

For decades, experts have encouraged construction contractors to embrace technology to improve equipment operation, fleet management and business operations. While adoption has progressed, that progress has been slow. Now, the federal government is giving contractors financial incentives to speed adoption.

In a June 27, 2023, press release, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced that the application period is open for the first year of a new, $85-million grant program under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems (ADCMS) grant program will focus on digital construction, such as computer modeling and 3D design, to encourage modern best practices in project delivery. It complements President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that is rebuilding U.S. infrastructure.

“Technology has transformed many facets of life in the modern era, and we want the transportation construction industry to take advantage of these advancements to deliver projects on time and on budget,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “These technologies, along with funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help us more quickly deliver the transportation system of the 21st century.”

At the one-year mark (November 2022), key highlights of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law include:

  • Launched 2,800 bridge repair and replacement projects across the country 
  • Awarded funds for over 5,000 new clean transit and school buses 
  • Approved state plans for water funding, electric vehicle charging networks and high-speed internet deployment

ADCMS Program Goals

The $85 million competitive grant program will help accelerate project delivery. The ADCMS program is one aspect of FHWA’s multifaceted Technology and Innovation Deployment Program and provides funding as an incentive for state departments of transportation. It promotes access to more meaningful, accurate and easy-to-use data by construction professionals with enhanced software modeling tools and features. Better and more consistent modeling allows the seamless sharing of design and construction plans. The program goals include:

  • Accelerated adoption of advanced digital construction management systems to boost productivity and manage complex projects
  • More timely and productive information-sharing
  • The development and deployment of best practices
  • Increased transparency as the result of the real-time sharing of information

Grant Award Schedule

The ADCMS grant program will award up to $34 million for combined Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 and up to $17 million each fiscal year thereafter through Fiscal Year 2026.

The funding will focus on projects that promote information-sharing, reduce reliance on paper, improve productivity and savings during project delivery, and serve as models for the adoption and deployment of digital construction technologies. While state departments of transportation, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply, they are encouraged to partner with local governments, tribes and private industry when designing their proposed projects.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity for the ADCMS program is available at Grants – ADCMS – Technologies and Innovations – Construction – Federal Highway Administration (dot.gov) along with more information about the program.

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