Photo Courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti Federally funded reconstruction carries prevailing-wage rules that will slow rehabilitation efforts, some say. Others say the low-cost solution will lead to inferior design for low-income housing. Walmart has rebuilt and design firms are working on several replacement schools, but a recent hike in federally mandated construction wages could hamper efforts to construct low-income housing and other publicly funded projects in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., some state and local officials say.Local contractors say the prevailing-wage rate for public-works projects has in some cases nearly tripled—to $21.47 per hour from $7.98 an hour—for area carpenters, who receive $12.65
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.