In late November, the owner of a planned $11-billion freight and passenger rail complex across the United Arab Emirates announced major design and management awards to three international firms. Rail line would link Emirates to other Gulf states. Abu Dhabi-based Union Railway Co. has now quietly dismissed the winners without disclosing the reasons, according to executives involved in the project. Union Railway terminated in early January a joint venture of Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif., and Paris-based SYSTRA, which was awarded the project’s program management contract in November. Also terminated was Parsons Brinckerhoff, New York City, which won the preliminary engineering
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.