Osceola County, Fla., has overhauled its troubled roadbuilding program by hiring firms that typically do vertical construction management. Staffing is the problem. Roadwork in the county had increased sevenfold while public-works department staff went from 240 to 190. Twenty months ago, the department was more than $386 million behind in putting projects out for bid and faced the prospect of returning impact fees to developers. Several projects were over budget or stuck at 30% design for years. “We have one of the most aggressive programs in the country, and we are passionate about construction management,” says new public-works administrator Ken
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.