President Obama's $3.7-trillion fiscal 2012 budget proposal would freeze total non-security related discretionary funding, but within that overall freeze, calls for sharp increases in surface transportation accounts, to kick off a proposed $556-billion, six-year highway-transit-rail measure. On the other hand, Obama's budget request, sent to Congress on Feb. 14, recommends cuts in other construction accounts, including airport grants, Environmental Protection Agency water infrastructure and General Services Administration new construction. The release of the budget proposal intensifies the debate that has already begun over federal spending. Congressional committees will dig into the details in hearings over the next several months. Congressional
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.