Florida Dept. of Transportation officials and their advisers aren’t likely to forget the year 2008. FDOT was trying to close on two different billion-dollar-plus public-private partnerships, but the financial markets were collapsing. In September, while still restructuring the year-delayed Port of Miami Tunnel (POMT) deal, FDOT accepted bids for a $2-billion Interstate 595 expansion. Just days later, emblematic of market conditions, the financial giant Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. “Credit was just not obtainable,” recalls Jeff Parker, founder of Jeffrey A. Parker & Associates Inc., Chilmark, Mass., a financial adviser to FDOT. “The bid assumed $900 million in private activity
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.