Aztec has also partnered with Granite and other firms to pursue the South Mountain Freeway. The final P3 development team is expected to be chosen by January 2016. The 22-mile freeway will have four lanes in each direction, including one HOV lane in each direction. More than 78 bridges are expected to be built as part of the project.

"These alternative delivery and P3 projects are key for federal, state and local agencies to move major infrastructure projects forward. We constantly analyze market trends, and one of those is alternative delivery," Lemke says.

But as the Southwest construction market continues to await the next big boom and with the Phoenix regional freeway system nearly complete, Aztec also looks to other markets and building types.

"The economy is improving, but not to the pace it once was in the transportation market," Lemke says. "We are always looking for infrastructure-type projects to maintain our growth and portfolios of projects we can deliver. We've hired project managers who are mobile to work on proposals and contracts in several states."

McKenzie says joining Typsa has helped Aztec gain exposure to bigger construction markets beyond the Southwest.

For example, the firm is currently working on section 5 of the I-69 project in Indiana that will eventually improve the freeway from Evansville to Indianapolis. The firm is also part of the I-17 East P3 project team in Denver.