If another Hurricane Katrina-like disaster hits New Orleans, the city’s water and sewer board will now have a hazard-mitigation plan to ensure that local environmental infrastructure can get state and federal emergency repair funds. “Probably a lot of other cities don’t have this because they haven’t had the disaster,” says Gordon Austin, chief of environmental affairs for the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. “This is a formality to make sure you’re eligible for [Federal Emergency Management Agency] mitigation funds.” The board still is trying to obtain FEMA funding to mitigate an estimated $98 million in damage from Katrina, which
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.