Twenty-five states have filed 77 applications totaling more than $8.5 billion for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's next round of high-speed-rail grants. Many applicants will be disappointed: DOT only has about $2.3 billion to distribute. The department expects to announce the winners of the new round of grants "in early fall," says Rob Kulat, a spokesman with DOT's Federal Railroad Administration. Odds of winning are long, but not as daunting as in FRA's initial high-speed-rail grant competition, when the agency was inundated with $57 billion in applications for $8 billion in grants. DOT officials announced the winners of that first
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.