The uncertain future of federal transportation funding loomed large over the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting, held in Detroit on Oct. 13-17. Under the theme “Leading in Lean Times,” directors of state departments of transportation discussed ways to weather the choppy financing environment.“In regards to our aging infrastructure, there's generally a pessimistic view of the future funding picture,” said Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans acting director. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, addressing the attendees, called on them to urge Congress to pass a multi-year highway-transit bill. “Passing the surface transportation bill will put America back to work,”
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.