The House has approved a $15-billion jobs package that includes an extension for highway and transit programs through December and a financial infusion to strengthen the Highway Trust Fund. The measure, which the House passed on March 4 by a 217-201 vote, next goes back to the Senate because it differs from the version that the Senate approved on Feb. 24. Besides extending surface-transportation programs through Dec. 31, the House-passed bill bolsters the Highway Trust Fund through an approximately $20-billion transfer from the general fund. It also would restore $8.7 billion in highway obligation authority that was rescinded on Sept.
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.