With government funding tight across the country, cities are looking for new ways to effectively manage capital projects, while still allocating money for new construction and renovation of streets, bridges, sidewalks, drainage, parks, and other local infrastructure construction projects. This is the challenge local governments are facing today—balancing constrained budgets with continued development.

A trend has transpired in the last few months—many cities are finding new software strategies can help more effectively manage capital improvement projects, saving both time and money during construction, and allowing more money to be spent in infrastructure construction. Kodiak Island Borough is one such example of a town looking to prevent cost overruns and schedule delays through the use of software.

Another example is the City of San Antonio. With a $550 million bond program designated for capital improvements such as streets and bridges, the city has created a new division, CIMS (Capital Improvements Management Services), to manage more than 150 projects through all phases of design, construction, and inspection.

With a new department in place, the city needed a more advanced enterprise-wide system that would be able to scale as project initiatives changed. With Unifier from Skire, www.skire.com, Menlo Park, Calif., in place, the city is able to gather project insight for analysis, maintenance, and process improvement.

In May of this year, the city will ask voters to approve a $598-million bond program, and plans to use the new technology system for that entire program.

Cities are stepping up software plans. More municipalities are looking toward the future and determining how technology can help complete projects on time and under budget. Capital program and project management software is allowing a number of cities to prevent cost overruns and schedule delays. It will be interesting to see how cities continue to balance new budgets with continued building and infrastructure development in 2012.