Congress’s fast action on the $787.2-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February brought some much-needed cheer to the nation’s transportation contractors. With state DOT budgets withered by the recession, gas prices and financial market upheaval, contractors expected the influx of more than $49.3 billion in immediate highway, transit, and airport funding to reenergize the market and, hopefully, keep them busy until the larger economy begins to rebound. But more than six months after President Obama signed ARRA into law, many in the industry are still waiting for those hoped-for effects to kick in. Photo: Flatiron Washington, N.C., bypass
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.