The Abu Dhabi-based owner of a planned $11-billion railway network across the United Arab Emirates has selected a Parsons Corp.-AECOM joint venture as the project's program manager, say both company sources who did not wish to be named and published reports in the Middle East. The owner, Etihad Rail Co., formerly Union Railway, has declined requests to confirm either the selection or contract award. The joint venture would replace a team of Parsons and Paris-based SYSTRA, whose PM contract was canceled in January, just two months after Union Railway announced its selection. Reasons for the termination were not disclosed publicly
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.