In a special session on July 2, the Texas Legislature refused to extend the authority of the Texas Dept. of Transportation to build privatized toll roads in agreements with private developers. The refusal comes at the end of a two-year moratorium on private toll-road construction passed in 2007. It is a setback for Gov. Rick Perry (R), who had appointed a Legislative Study Committee on Private Participation in Toll Projects. One member, Bob Poole, director of transportation policy for Los-Angeles-based Reason Foundation, says the committee’s 2008 report concluded the state needs tolling and private capital, although rules should be modified
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.