As outlines of new House and Senate transportation bills come into sharper focus, it is clear the construction industry will be hard-pressed to get even a small federal funding boost above current levels for highways and transit. That outcome would be another blow to construction firms bracing for the end of the federal stimulus program and enduring spending cuts by state and local transportation agencies.Two plans are on the table. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) on July 7 formally unveiled a $230-billion, six-year transportation framework. In the Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer
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.