A congressional budget deal on April 8 averted a shutdown of federal agencies, but some of the pact's roughly $38 billion in spending cuts fall on construction programs. The Transportation Dept.'s $2.5 billion in 2011 high-speed passenger rail funding was zeroed out. Lawmakers also rescinded $400 million in unobligated high-speed rail funds from 2010. Federal Transit Administration capital grants were sliced by $680 million. Other cuts include $997 million from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aid for state revolving funds that finance sewage-treatment and drinking-water projects. Some reductions will not result in cuts in construction projects. For example, appropriators list a
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.