The U.S. DOT (Dept. of Transportation), www.dot.gov, Washington, D.C., recently announced more than $2 billion in ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds previously rejected by Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio for development of high-speed intercity rail service is now being redirected to 15 other states.

The program will make an unprecedented investment in the Northeast Corridor with $795 million to upgrade some of the most heavily-used sections of the corridor. The investments will increase speeds from 135 to 160 miles per hour on critical segments, improve on-time performance, and add more seats for passengers.

It will also provide $404.1 million to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest. Newly constructed segments of 110-mph track between Detroit and Chicago will save passengers 30 minutes in travel time and create nearly 1,000 new jobs in the construction phase.

Meanwhile, the funding will continue laying the groundwork for the nation’s first 220-mph high-speed rail system in California through a $300-million investment. This will extend the current 110-mile segment an additional 20 miles to advance completion of the Central Valley project, the backbone of the Los Angeles to San Francisco corridor.

With the chance for more work in the infrastructure segment of the construction market, now might be a good time to decide how technology can play a role in enabling more efficient project delivery.

In many cases, government-funded projects require construction companies to provide high levels of transparency into the project. Project-management technology can play a big role in helping increase visibility for project owners. In addition, estimating technology can help construction companies bid more accurately on these projects.

It will be interesting to watch as the high-speed rail projects begin to progress across North America. This next-generation of infrastructure could provide more work for the construction industry in the years to come.