Glimmers of light: Contractors were buying and smiling at World of Concrete. An economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors saw conditions improving in 2010. Legislators jockeyed for a second injection of stimulus funding.

 Our editors are looking for signs of renewal. This week’s cover story is the first part of a new series called “Road to Recovery.” One year after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law, ENR is taking stock of how much money has been obligated and how much is left to spend. Washington Bureau Chief Tom Ichniowski has been watching ARRA since it was written and is now keeping an eye on the chances for “Stimulus Two.”

In next week’s Feb. 22 issue, the second part of the series will explore the challenges facing firms trying to become competitive in new markets. Business Editor-at-Large Debra Rubin asks, how do you “follow the money,” and what new and expanded role will global relationships play? What are shaping up as the hot markets to pursue in the next few years, and how can you retool your workforce and change your strategy to get involved?

ENR is also planning “Webinars” to bring experts on these topics together with readers who want to know more. The stimulus Webinar, moderated by Ichniowski, will be held on March 25, and the Webinar on breaking into new markets, moderated by Rubin, will be held on April 15. For more information, e-mail Amy Ecolino, McGraw-Hill Construction senior conference producer, at


In the next part of the series, Richard Korman, ENR managing senior editor, will explore how to get employees on the road to recovery by preventing and curing engineer and staff burnout.