State departments of transportation have met their first "use it or lose it" deadline under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, obligating half of their stimulus funds for highway projects. The number of ARRA highway and transit project starts has risen sharply in recent weeks, but actual outlays remain small, according to reports from a key House committee. Emphasizing the ARRA progress, the White House and U.S. DOT said on June 25 that $19 billion has been obligated for more than 5,300 highway and other transportation projects. ARRA requires states to obligate--commit to specifid projects--at least 50% of their highway
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.