It's hard to believe, but another year is coming to an end, and a new year is nearly upon us. It seems like it was only recently that the construction industry was pinning its hopes for recovery on a new bill making its way out of Congress, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.

Alas, for most contractors and designers in the four-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, 2010 probably has not been very bright, despite the impact of ARRA. Generally speaking, most markets have underperformed to expectations. For example, according to McGraw-Hill Construction (publisher of Southeast Construction), through the month of September (and compared to the same period of a year ago), new contract activity is down by 28% in Florida, 47% in Georgia; 34% in North Carolina; and 42% in South Carolina. I promise you that no industry experts forecast numbers as dismal as those.

With the notion in mind that the experts aren't always right, we'd like to get the opinion of people actually doing the work. And that's where you come in.

First, we'd like to ask you to take our poll. It's a one-click survey that asks one fairly simple question: "How do you see construction opportunities in your local Southeast market in 2010?" Choose one of five possible answers, and you're done. No need to register or provide any kind of information about yourself. Just vote. Here's the link.

We'll publish the results in the January issue of Southeast Construction and, of course, online at

Secondly, I'd like to hear from as many as you as possible. I'd love to hear your opinions on how you think 2010 is going to shake out for your firm and the markets it is involved with. So let me hear from you. You can either just comment at the bottom of this blog post (signing your name) to share your opinions openly, or if you prefer, send me an email. My email is

I'll review your comments for possible inclusion in our upcoming 2010 Southeast Construction Outlook story. Reporting on the opinion of contractors, designers and other industry members is an important part of our annual forecast effort, and we greatly appreciate your contributions to this story. We look forward to hearing from you!

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