New Mexico’s engineers and contractors are ready to expedite the bidding of $1.2 billion worth of construction projects in the wake of an economic stimulus package. Mike Gibson, executive director of the Associated Contractors of New Mexico, believes the national focus on infrastructure could also stimulate New Mexico’s Legislature to allow design-build, Construction Manager-At-Risk and other alternative project delivery methods in 2009.

“Some concerns of industry leaders are that all 50 states will be competing for resources to deliver their respective lists of projects,” he says. “But the overall consensus of these same industry leaders is that the private sector can handle anything the public sector can throw at them.”

Gibson notes that New Mexico’s highway industry has experienced a loss of 3,500 jobs, or over 20% percent of the workforce, since January, due to lack of funding for Gov. Bill Richardson’s (D) $1.6-billion transportation program and unanticipated or unaccounted-for spikes in oil-based materials products like asphalt, he adds.