Companies in this industry construct highways, streets, roads, airport runways, sidewalks, and bridges. Major companies include AECOM, Bechtel, Kiewit, and Granite Construction (all based in the US), as well as Bouygues (France), China Communications Construction Company, Salini Impregilo (Italy), and VINCI (France).
Demand is largely driven by the availability of government road building funds, population growth, and the need to replace or repair aging infrastructure. The profitability of individual companies depends on operating efficiencies and the ability to correctly estimate costs. Big companies have the resources and engineering skills necessary for large construction jobs. Small companies can compete effectively by bidding for smaller projects or by working as subcontractors on large projects. The US industry is highly fragmented.
Products, Operations & Technology
New street and highway construction can involve complicated engineering and skilled operations like earthmoving, grading, and bridge, curb, sidewalk, and water drainage system construction. The US has the most expansive road network in the world, with 2.7 million miles of paved roads and 1.4 million miles of unpaved roads. The typical small construction company does light new construction work and concentrates mainly on reconstruction and maintenance. Engineering design work is important for new construction. The typical large construction company designs and constructs complex road and highway projects.