The push for a multiyear surface- transportation bill has suffered a setback on a Senate procedural vote on March 6. Backers of a two-year, $109-billion measure fell eight votes short of the 60 needed for cloture to cut off debate and move ahead on the bill.House Republicans at press time were determining how—or whether—to revise a five-year, $260-billion bill that had cleared committee. On March 1, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said there is GOP opposition to an 18-month bill. "Apparently, our members don't think too highly of it. I would only look at it as a fallback measure," he said.
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.