Illustration courtesy of MIT/Mehdi Akbarian Pavement deflection produces the effect of a car rolling uphill, hurting fuel economy. Related Links: Concrete Goes To College Download MIT's Pavement Report Fuel economy has been largely the province of automakers and government initiatives, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. However, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are looking at ways to boost fuel efficiency and cut greenhouse- gas emissions by building better roads.Pavement design can play an important role in fuel economy, researchers say. "The understanding has always been that roughness matters more than deflection" when it comes to fuel usage,
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.