A $33.5-billion fiscal 2010 spending bill for federal energy and water programs is on its way to enactment. Final congressional approval came on Oct. 15, with the Senate’s approval. The measure includes $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program, up $43 million from 2009’s level, excluding American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The Corps’ total includes $2 billion for its construction account, down 5% from this year. The bill also provides $27.1 billion for the Dept. of Energy, a $318-million boost from 2009. DOE’s 2010 allotment includes $5.6 billion for defense environmental restoration, a $15-million cut
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.