The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which would get $400 million for watershed infrastructure, partners with local sponsors on 14,000 watershed structures throughout the nation, including many aging dams. It has a potential backlog of more than $1 billion worth of flood prevention work to do, says Douglas McKalip, legislative director. But it is up to the local partners to initiate flood prevention projects. The federal share of new construction is 100%, but if fish habitat restoration or recreation improvements or dam rehabilitation are involved the locals have to pick up a 35% share. Many such potential
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.