A deal with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that freed a stalled stopgap highway-aviation bill is changing another bill. A two-year highway measure that Environment and Public Works panel leaders are drafting now will give states new flexibility in the transportation enhancements program. Under current law, states must spend 10% of their Surface Transportation Program aid on bike paths and other enhancements. Coburn said that diverts funds from other uses, such as bridge upgrades.
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.