State departments of transportation have passed their first “use it or lose it” test under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, obligating half of their highway stimulus funds at least 10 days before the June 29 deadline set under the economic-stimulus statute. In another positive sign, the number of ARRA highway and transit project starts has climbed sharply, but critics point out that actual outlays remain small. ARRA required states to obligate—commit to specific projects—at least 50% of their highway stimulus allocations by June 29. If not, the unobligated portions would revert to U.S. DOT to be redistributed to other
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.