Applications open for first round of $85M in IIJA contech funding

Dive Brief:

  • Wait no longer — federal money is now available from a new grant system that state transportation departments can use to fund the use of construction technology, the Federal Highway Administration announced this week.
  • The FHWA announced that the application period is open for the first year of the $85 million grant program under the $1.2 trillion infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to the release. The Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems 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. This is a decrease from previous estimates of $100 million.
  • The grant program will focus on digital construction methods such as computer modeling and 3D design to encourage state-of-the-art practices in project delivery, the release said. Individual contractors will not be able to apply — instead, the funds will funnel through state DOTs, as well as those in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Dive Insight:

The FHWA did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding the decrease in funding.

The ADCMS program aims to accelerate adoption of advanced digital construction management systems to boost productivity and manage complex projects.

Experts told Construction Dive last year that the funding would follow the path laid out by FHWA, from the federal government to the state government, and then eventually to the contractors who work on government-funded projects.

ADCMS is an offshoot of the $550 million Technology and Innovation Deployment Program. TIDP covers a swath of research and development and other efforts related to highways and transportation, such as $12 million per year for researching pavement technology. TIDP was established in 2013 and was continued through the FAST Act, and ADCMS funding comes from this large pot. TIDP is funded through the IIJA, with $550 million over five years, at $110 million per year.

“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 Shailen Bhatt, federal highway administrator, in the release.

The federal government is hosting a Zoom webinar for an overview of ADCMS grants on July 25.

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