Voter frustration with the economy was evident on Nov. 2 in statehouse and congressional changes, but it also played out in how ballot funding and other initiatives fared. Some big-ticket state and local finance measures were rejected by voters, while others passed less enthusiastically than in better times. Also enacted were new restrictions that could complicate public-works procurement. Alabama voters turned down a proposed constitutional amendment to earmark $1 billion over a decade for road construction projects, but Rhode Island, Fairfax County, Va., and Austin, Texas, each approved close to $100-million-a-year transportation funding measures, says the American Road & Transportation
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.