House and Senate negotiators stripped language from a $43-billion homeland security spending bill that would have required more fencing to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate version of the bill had an amendment from Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to require 600 more miles of double-layer border fence to be built by Dec. 31, 2010. To date, 34.3 miles of double-layer fencing have been put in place. In 2008 Congress mandated that 700 miles of fencing be built.
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.