Federal aid helped the industry fare better than others during the recession.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 04, 2013
In spite of the recession, the Bridge and Tunnel Construction industry has continued to build onward. Firms in this industry primarily construct, refurbish, repair and maintain bridges, tunnels and elevated highways. Since most funding for industry projects comes from local and state governments, regional spending cuts caused revenue to dramatically decline at the onset of the recession. However, temporary federal government stimulus spending and other forms of funding bridged the gap left over by state and municipal authorities. Consequently, enough demand was kept up for industry built structures, for revenue to rapidly recover. Therefore, over the five years to 2013, industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualized 1.5% to $24.0 billion, with a 1.7% drop in 2013 due to stimulus money running out.
During the recession, decreasing income levels and a collapsing housing market caused state and municipal tax receipts to drop and welfare obligations to rise. Consequently, regional governments had to cut spending in order to balance their budgets, with local and state government investment, which includes funding for bridges and tunnels, rapidly dropping. Subsequently, demand for industry services declined and revenue fell. In response to the recession Congress passed a stimulus package, which along with other infrastructure spending bills offset regional government cuts and boosted demand for bridges and tunnels high enough for the industry to record a 17.5% revenue jump in 2011. However, the stimulus was temporary and overall government funding for highways, partially including highway bridges and tunnels, hardly budged over the five years to 2013. The recession also caused increased price competition, especially for smaller contracts with fewer barriers to entry, which led to profit declining and companies reducing costs through layoffs and wage cuts.
Over the five years to 2018, industry revenue is forecast to rise. Growth will be led by the need to replace and repair deficient structures, meet rising demand from a larger population and healthier government budgets. However, elevated unemployment and a slow housing recovery will keep local and state budgets under pressure and continuing budget disputes in Congress will temper public sector spending on industry projects. Therefore, more and more governments will turn to public-private partnerships to encourage the private sector to fill in the funding gap.
The Bridge and Tunnel Construction Industry is fragmented; the level of industry concentration is low. The industry is composed of many small to medium scale firms which service relatively narrow, geographically dispersed markets. Over half the industry establishments employ fewer that twenty persons. Almost one-third of establishments in this industry could be classed as medium size, employing between 20 and 99 persons, servicing statewide geographic markets. Smaller companies primarily operate in local markets where they can use their connections and knowledge to win small-scale projects. However, large scale projects are usually contracted to bigger companies with a national or even international reputation for quality work and adequate capacity to complete such projects. Over the five years to 2013 market concentration has increased as a low government spending and strong competition has forced the industry to go through a number of mergers and acquisitions. In particular, a lot of the stronger and larger operators have bought up weaker and smaller companies that have suffered in the down market.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
The Bridge and Tunnel Construction industry is composed of firms that primarily engage in the construction of bridges, viaducts, elevated highways and tunnels. Types of projects include new work, reconstruction and repairs. This industry does not include road and highway construction activity.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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