New construction starts in February climbed 5% from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $440.9 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. Much of the lift was provided by the public works sector, which through the first two months of 2010 was running 4% ahead of the same period of 2009, says MHC chief economist Robert Murray. Among the top public works projects adding to February’s starts was the $917-million DFW Connector project serving the Dallas-Ft. Worth International airport. In addition, sewer and water projects in February increased 15% and 39%, respectively, “picking up momentum after the diminished
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.