Daily Roundup

Interesting day today on the AEC business front, made all the easier to dutifully follow here in Mass. when outside the window was snowfall, then sleet, then a cold rain.

At 10 a.m., the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) officially released its 2009 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure. The results were predictably bad, but the tone of the press conference had welcome measures of optimism and forward-thinking ideas.

At 1:30, I listened in on part 2 of PSMJ Resources’ A/E Industry Forecast Webinar. In Part 1 yesterday, the news on private-sector markets was almost entirely bad. The only exceptions were the energy and environmental sectors. The results on public-sector markets today was a little better. Again, a bit of hope trickled through the gloom.

Later, I spoke with a client who tells me that he’s dealing with frustrating delays on major public-sector projects. In thinking about it later, I wonder if the anticipation of the stimulus money isn’t as much or more at fault than the crummy economy.

A few minutes ago, the House passed its (only slightly changed from the original) version of the stimulus bill. The vote was along party lines, with the exception of 11 Democrats who voted against it. Not exactly the rousing bipartisan support President Obama wanted. Next week, the Senate will take up its version. Unlike the House, the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate without at least two Republicans voting for it. This could mean significant changes in the bill — good changes for our industry, I hope.

Busy day. Big day. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow.

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