The off-year election on Nov. 5 was light on capital expenditure measures across the U.S., but voters in Texas OK'd $2 billion in water-project funding. In Maine, $100 million in transportation-project bonds gained approval; the American Road & Transportation Builders Association says the measure will leverage $154 million in other government funds.

Houstonians, however, kiboshed a $217-million plan to transform the derelict Astrodome into a convention center, and Coloradans said no to a nearly $1-billion tax hike, partly for school construction. The election also swept a former Laborers' union executive into Boston City Hall and moved an attorney with open-shop construction links closer to a seat in Congress.

The Texas water vote will allow the state to lend money to municipalities as a revolving loan fund to pay for reservoirs, storage facilities, pipelines and desalination plants. The measure requires 10% of funds to be spent in rural areas. But the Astrodome vote likely means demolition of the world's first domed stadium, built in 1965 but unused for a decade. ARTBA says U.S. voters approved some $240 million in transportation funding, with 91% of 21 local measures passing.

Colorado voters approved a marijuana tax that will generate $70 million a year for school construction and other uses. Three towns near the Niobrara shale formation passed new limits on hydraulic fracturing. The vote is unlikely to affect state oil and gas development immediately, but a statewide anti-fracking measure on the 2014 ballot is possible, says Platt's, a sister publication of ENR.

Elected as Boston mayor is Martin J. Walsh, who had headed the 35,000-member Boston Building Trades Council since 2011. In a statement, the Laborers termed him a "working-class hero." Unions donated more than $2 million to his campaign, say published reports in Boston. In Alabama, Bradley Byrne, an employment-law firm partner and former Associated Builders and Contractors chapter director, won a special election as the GOP nominee in the first congressional district, says ABC. He faces a Democratic challenger in a Dec. 17 state vote.