Dive Brief The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday includes $100 million over five years to accelerate the deployment of digital construction technologies such as 3D modeling software and digital project management platforms. The Alliance for Smarter Infrastructure Investments, a group of digital infrastructure companies that includes Bentley Systems and Mott McDonald, lobbied for funding to be included in the bill to bypass the paper-and-pencil operations that still dominate the construction industry. Si Katara, co-founder of the consortium and president of optical inspection technology company HeadLight, said of the current situation. Dave Insight Katara said the bill offers tremendous opportunities for businesses in a “high tide lifts all boats” scenario. Katara described the bill as “one opportunity in every generation to do something transformative.” The bill includes billions of dollars to fund bridges, roads and other legacy infrastructure, along with an annual investment fund of $20 million for innovation in construction management. The Senate passed by 69 votes to 30, paving the way for debate in the House of Representatives. Construction management techniques aren’t the only high-tech developments Congress is considering in the bill. Broader use technologies, such as electric cars and broadband internet, are also available for significant federal funding, with the two combining to receive $72.5 billion, according to CNBC. The coalition lobbied for changes to how the United States operates infrastructure this summer, shortly after the Biden administration rolled out its massive infrastructure proposal in March. The alliance said its success is now imperative to a modern path forward for infrastructure investment. “It would be crazy to pour hundreds of billions into new infrastructure projects while still relying on design and management systems that look like the 1930s,” said David McKinney, Vice President of Bentley Systems. “America is only 13th in the world in terms of 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.” Katara said the funding will be able to allow people to focus on their work. By removing the overhead and returning the hours workers spend on “manual jamming reports,” they will instead be able to spend most of their time on fieldwork. On the heels of an extreme report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that recommended drastic action to reduce emissions before 2040, Katara also spoke about the impacts of innovation on climate change and the environment. He said it would be a “terrible missed opportunity” if companies ignore environmental issues when innovating.