The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, May 31, 2013

Uncertainty still a drag for top U.S. contractors

By The Building Tradesman

Last year, with its annual survey of the Top 400 U.S. construction contractors, The Engineering News Recordasked, “is the construction industry finally coming out of the recession?”

This year, possibly answering that question, the ENR sees a “modest turnaround” for the industry.

“The construction market,” the ENR added, “is making progress toward recovery. However, many large contractors remain uncertain as to where the market is going. They see persistent softness in the U.S. market, and those working in the public sector are finding that funding shortfalls among clients are an obstacle to growth.”

The ENR reported that domestic contracting revenue for the Top 400 jumped 6.1 percent in 2012 to $233.99 billion. There’s a ways to go to match their record of $281.36 billion in 2008.

The top five contractors in the nation rarely move much, and this year was no different.  They include Bechtel of San Francisco; Fluor of Irving, Texas; Kiewet of Omaha; The Turner Corp. of New York and PCL of Denver.

There was movement at the top of the list for Michigan-based companies. Detroit-based Walbridge (#45 in the nation, +2 spots on the list from 2011) is now the largest contractor on the list in the state, with $1.29 billion in revenue earned in 2012. Next is Barton Malow (#55, -17) – it marks the first time in recent memory that Walbridge overtook Barton Malow on the list.

Other Michigan-based contractors in the Top 400: Lakeshore Toltest, Detroit (#110, -17); The Christman Co., Lansing (#163, +3); Commercial Contracting Corp., Auburn Hills (#189, +27); Ingenium International, Detroit (#267, +34); Granger Construction, Lansing (#269, -19); Aristeo Construction, Livonia (#279, -37); Rockford Construction, Grand Rapids (#288, +30); The Weiland-Davco Corp., Lansing (#294, not listed in 2011); Roncelli, Sterling Heights (#304, -81); Lamar Construction, Hudsonville (#308, -50); Pioneer General Contractors, Grand Rapids (#320, +80); Clark Construction, Lansing #365, -21), and George W. Auch, Pontiac (#388, -16).