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Insights Four little-known facts about the USA's transportation market

It’s an exciting time to work in the American transportation market. 2021 saw increased spending on America’s transportation market infrastructure, with 41% of federal infrastructure funds going towards highway transportation. A further 19% was allocated to light rail and mass transit. 

As a result, there are more opportunities for highway engineers, project engineers, and project managers, all of whom are integral to transportation infrastructure. For instance, roadway engineering jobs and transportation engineering jobs are some of the fastest growing careers in US transportation. 

There are some exciting projects on the horizon – but first, here are some lesser-known facts about the transportation market in the US. 

Little-known facts about the US transportation market 

Many new roads you drive on were 3D models first

Digital technologies, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), have revolutionized how we design roads and infrastructure. Increasingly, many new roads are visualized first as 3D models, allowing for better accuracy and budget management. Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also being leveraged to help build new roads. You can expect to see AI and 3D modeling even more in the future – one day soon, every new road you drive on will have been a 3D model before it was constructed.

There are more than 4 million miles of roads in the US

A staggering 4.09 million miles of roads crisscross the US, including 47,432 miles of interstate highways. Despite the vast network of tracks and highways, more than one-third of all roads in the country are not paved, and more than 70% are in rural areas. That is a huge opportunity for future growth. 

There are currently more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges in the US

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimate that it could take more than 80 years to repair or replace all of these bridges. This shocking number shows you just how much opportunity there is for bridge engineering careers in America.

Women are playing a bigger role in the success of the industry

As recently as 2018, less than 20% of the global transportation workforce were women – but things are starting to change. More women are joining this dynamic and exciting industry, and companies like Atkins are helping them launch their transport careers.

aerial view of highway intersection

Atkins’ exciting transportation projects

Now that you know some new facts, let’s take a look at some of the new transportation projects launching across the country. Atkins and Faithful+Gould are part of the AtkinsRéalis Group. We are a leading global company that provides engineering, procurement, and construction services and are a leader in the USA. 

Here are just a few of Atkins’ transportation projects.

The Purple Line

This new light rail transit line will connect Bethesda and New Carrollton, Maryland. It’s a 16.2-mile line with a total of 21 stations and platforms and will help to ease the congestion along the Capital Beltway. 

The El Paso Streetcar Project

This 4.8-mile streetcar project revitalizes a 1950s-era streetcar that used to connect El Paso City and neighboring Mexico. This is an exciting project that will bring back a sense of pride and heritage to the area. 

Project Neon – Interstate widening

Atkins is working on Project Neon, the largest public works project to ever take place in Nevada, widening 3.7 miles of Interstate 15 (I-15) in downtown Las Vegas. As traffic is expected to double by 2035, this will improve a critical section of Nevada highway.

Is a career in transportation infrastructure right for you?

With an eye to the future and lots of exciting opportunities, transport planning jobs and project management jobs are in more demand than ever. Now is the time to start looking for careers in the dynamic and increasingly inclusive field of transportation infrastructure. 

Start by browsing transportation jobs with Atkins, and apply for available jobs in the USA. To keep up with new postings and find the right opportunities, sign up to the talent community.