President Obama signed a bill on Oct. 1 providing a one-month extension for the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users and one month’s appropriations for nearly all federal agencies. In a blow to state transportation agencies, the Senate failed to pass a three-month SAFETEA-LU extension, thus triggering an $8.7-billion rescission of highway contract authority. Under the continuing resolution (CR) that Obama signed, agencies have funding to carry through Oct. 31, generally at 2009 levels. SAFETEA-LU was extended through that date, too. The measure was needed because Congress had not approved any of the 12 appropriations
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.