A consortium led by Parsons Transportation Group Inc., Washington, D.C., has won a $1.46-billion, design-build-operate-maintain contract for 20 miles of light-rail lines in downtown Houston. It is the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) of Harris County’s largest contract. The Houston Rapid Transit JV also includes Granite Construction Co., Watsonville, Calif.; Kiewit Texas Construction, Fort Worth; and Stacy and Witbeck Inc., Alameda, Calif. The team will extend the north, east-end, southeast and uptown lines; build storage and inspection facilities; construct 32 stations; and renovate an existing operations center. METRO selected the runner-up Parsons team after breaking off talks with Boise-based Washington Group
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.