President-elect Barack Obama has promised to invest in infrastructure on a scale not seen since the 1950s, when the US highway system was established.
He used his weekly address to outline that the spending would be part of his plan to create at least 2.5m new jobs in the ailing US economy.
He also spoke of the need for expanded access to high-speed internet and the modernisation of school buildings.
Unemployment rose by more than 500,000 during November, figures have shown.
That was the biggest monthly rise in job cuts since 1974, and it drove up the jobless rate to a 15-year high of 6.7%, up from 6.5% in October.
The figures came less than a week after the National Bureau for Economic Research said the US economy had been in recession since late 2007.
Mr Obama, who takes office on 20 January, has previously said that his incoming team will be tasked with generating 2.5m new jobs by 2011.