Three Types of Infrastructure That Civil Engineers Create


There are many types of engineering, so, understandably, people get confused over what each one does. Civil engineering is one branch that is often mistakenly ascribed to other kinds. We feel the best way to grasp what civil engineers do is to look at the infrastructure that they are responsible for creating.

What Is Civil Construction?

Civil construction is implicated whenever infrastructure related to do with transportation, earth (roads), or water is mentioned. It is not only involved with the construction of the built environment, but also its design and maintenance. An easy way to understand it is that it sees to the infrastructural needs of a group of citizens collectively serviced by a town council or other body. So, if you have a city, civil engineers will design, build, and maintain all the services that are needed, such as sewers, tunnels, airports, railways, bridges, roads, water reservoirs and dams, and transportation infrastructure. A national body will see to infrastructure that connects towns, such as national highways.

Essentially, civil construction is responsible for the infrastructure within and beyond a local council or municipality. One body (sometimes a group of institutions falling under local council) will handle all the requirements of its citizens in this regard. Each municipality is connected by national roads that usually fall under a separate body.

Transportation involves traffic intersection plans, street markings, flyovers, traffic signals, overhead road signage, etc. These are integrated to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, attend to hotspots, and see to road safety in the town or city.

In this context, civil engineering companies must be passionate about quality designs for the communities in which they work. One way to categorize their work is roads, water, and transportation. We look at an overview of what this entails.


Roads are not constructed in isolation but as part of an overall system. This includes national roads, arterial routes, and minor roads. Once the road has been designed and constructed, civil engineers manage it in what is known as the asset management phase, usually for one year. They make sure that it is aligned to stormwater systems so that it does not get flooded and that the materials used work as intended. Then they hand it over to city management with details of its lifespan and required maintenance or refurbishment in that time.


Civil engineers working with water systems need to have good knowledge of how rivers, dams, and coastal areas behave, for example, when flooding is likely to occur. In certain instances, they reshape areas that are prone to flooding. Sometimes they have to widen rivers for water to flow adequately. They must determine how water will be conserved and provided to the community.


Transportation is responsible for all transport hubs such as harbors, ports, railway stations, and airports as well as everything in-between. Movements between hubs must be managed (e.g., roads and railway lines). Minimum standards must be met, and safety and sustainability prioritized.

Civil engineers provide towns, cities, and countries with vital infrastructure.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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