Related Links: House Appropriations Committee summary of spending package Federal transportation construction programs have their fiscal 2012 funding locked in, thanks to a newly enacted appropriations package. Highway funding and TIGER grants were sliced, high-speed rail was zeroed out, but aid for mass transit got a boost. The legislation, which President Obama signed into law on Nov. 18, the day after the measure had cleared the House and Senate, provides $128.1 billion in discretionary funds for the Depts. of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Justice and Agriculture. The bill’s total represents a $500-million cut from those departments’
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.