An infrastructure project is a project that deals with the maintenance and development of systems and service facilities. The two main types of infrastructure projects are public and private infrastructure projects.
Public infrastructure projects are owned by the government and made available to the public. A good example of this is road and bridge structures.
Meanwhile, as the name suggests, private infrastructure sees individuals developing infrastructure for personal use. Examples of private infrastructure are commercial buildings rented out to the public, or those done under public-private partnerships (PPP), which are built using an agreement framework negotiated by the government with private companies.
This agreement framework could involve, for example, a private sector constructing a public road, but recouping its investment using road tolls. Or when a public hospital is built by a private company. The private company will collect funds by leasing the structure to the government.
Technology in infrastructure projects
Technology has evolved and made it easy for infrastructural projects to be implemented. An example of a technology that is currently being used is BIM technology. BIM enables contractors and stakeholders to collaborate on projects and ensure accurate cost estimates.
Another technology currently being used to reduce risks when dealing with infrastructure projects is ALICE. This technology is used to construct complex, high-value infrastructure projects, such as railway tracks and tunnels. The platform can be used to reduce risk by simulating several construction scenarios to identify the most efficient construction strategy.
In infrastructure projects, technology can help contractors optimize essential project resources like equipment, labor, and material. As a result, contractors can realize labor cost-saving benefits. It is also important to note that contractors benefit significantly from equipment cost savings.
7 types of infrastructure construction projects in 2022
So what are some of the most common infrastructure projects undertaken in 2022?
1. Aviation infrastructure
This infrastructure project is designed to ensure airport facilities are built and upgraded to meet international standards. The government manages aviation infrastructure in the country through agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA).
Other responsibilities of the FAA include constructing new airports, mediating airport safety, and protecting the public during space launches.
Some of the largest airports in the country include the Denver International Airport in Colorado and the Dallas International Airport in Texas. The Denver International Airport occupies an area of 135 square kilometers and has six different runways. It has undergone various modernization programs, the latest being in 2018, when two terminals and 89 gates were upgraded.
2. Road infrastructure
One organization responsible for the design and establishment of road infrastructure is the Federal Highway Administration. This body is also responsible for maintaining and funding new road infrastructure.
This type of infrastructure is crucial because it increases mobility, meaning it’s easy for people and goods to move from one place to another. A good road infrastructure also spurs economic development, as land prices increase and town centers develop. For a country to maintain its economic growth, it must maintain its road infrastructure.
Currently, the Highway Safety Administration is working to improve road safety throughout the country by providing more than $260 million in highway grants for 2022.
3. Bridge infrastructure
Just like road infrastructure, bridges are important because they enable people to access regions or cities that could have otherwise been impossible. This infrastructure makes it easy to link people to jobs, increasing the country’s GDP. According to a report published by the Infrastructure Report Card, there are more than 614,000 bridges in America.
The most popular bridges constructed in the country are Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and the Manchac Swamp Bridge. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is 38.44km long and was the longest bridge until 2011. The bridge is important because it saves the residents of Louisiana more than an hour and a half of travel time.
4. Waste management infrastructure
Waste management infrastructure is concerned with developing facilities that help improve the environment. These facilities improve the environment by collecting and treating waste. Waste management is vital because more than 294 million tonnes of solid waste were produced in 2018.
Without proper waste management infrastructure, the country would be inhabitable. For the waste system to be efficient, important infrastructure like drip pads and incinerators must be created.
5. Communication infrastructure
Communication infrastructure connects governments, people, and businesses. Communication platforms can be in the form of internet cable, wireless, or satellite technologies.
Currently, the country is adopting 5G internet, which is expected to revolutionize the communications industry. The process is predicted to create more than 2,000 jobs, which is expected to increase the national GDP. Companies currently upgrading their communication infrastructure to 5G include Dish Network and Nokia.
6. Water infrastructure
This type of infrastructure ensures that millions of Americans have access to clean drinking water. Currently, the U.S. has more than 1.2 million miles of piped water, and the government works with the private sector to ensure sustainable water projects are developed and maintained.
The government mandates the United Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and ensure that sustainable water projects are implemented. Notable water infrastructure projects include the California Aqueduct and the Folsom Dam. The California Aqueduct is a 444-mile-long aqueduct that transports water from the Oroville dam to a lake in California.
7. Rail infrastructure
Rail infrastructure is important, just like road and air passages, because it enables people to transport from one place to another. Several states plan to introduce high-speed rail systems to shorten interstate travel times. Rail infrastructure involves much more than just the trains themselves. The infrastructure includes track layout, tunnel, and bridge construction.
Notable rail infrastructure projects include the California high-speed rail systems and Cascadia high-speed rail system. The Cascadia high-speed rail system is planned to hit speeds of 250mph and connect Washington, British Columbia, and Oregon.
Lastly, another infrastructural project worth mentioning is power and energy. This infrastructure connects households and industries with affordable and reliable electric power. Currently, the United States has the largest electric system in the world, with more than 160,000 miles of power lines.