Construction companies that rely on federal highway, transit and airport contracts can breathe a little easier as legislation is moving in Congress to extend surface-transportation and aviation programs as well as the taxes that finance them. But the relief is only temporary. The new legislation continues highway and transit programs through March 31 and extends airport grants and other Federal Aviation Administration programs through Jan. 31.The House passed the new stopgap measure on Sept. 12, on a voice vote. Senate action was expected to follow. Lawmakers were aiming to wrap up the bill before the current short-term aviation bill expired
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.