As Congress headed for its year-end recess, the House delivered encouraging news to the construction industry, approving a jobs-producing, $154-billion economic-stimulus measure that includes about $47 billion for infrastructure work in several market sectors. The bill, approved on Dec. 16 by a slim 217-212 margin, would be a follow-on to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But the Senate, enmeshed in protracted action on major health-care legislation, will not even take up a jobs bill until it returns in January from its break. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan (N.D.) are gathering
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.