Many ENR readers have watched with interest the recent debate over the proposed Las Vegas-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail corridor running along Interstate 15. Long viewed as a potential maglev project, things got a little murky last month when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) switched his support from maglev to conventional high-speed steel wheel technology. But what happened in Vegas is not staying there. With the advent of the Obama presidency, rail suddenly is a hot and potentially lucrative topic everywhere.
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.