States are committing more American Recovery and Reinvestment Act highway funds to specific projects, and pavement improvements continue to get the largest share of those dollars. But the mix of ARRA-funded highway work is shifting a little, to more complex projects, the Government Accountability Office reports. Total federal ARRA highway outlays—reimbursements to states—also still lag well below obligations. GAO’s latest ARRA update, released on Sept. 23, shows states had obligated nearly $18 billion of $26.7 billion in ARRA highway aid by Sept. 1. That is a 7% gain from $16.8 billion obligated by July 17. The top ARRA highway category
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.