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ENR June 29, 2009
ENR, June 29 2009
Cover Story: 2nd Quarterly Cost Report

Hard Bids, Low Costs
In less than a year the construction market has gone from owners fishing for bids to a bidding frenzy. In some cases the competition has become so intense it has taken on an air of desperation that is driving costs down to questionable levels. The resulting low bids may not turn out to be the bargains they seem. Construction cost indexes are falling as well. Steel prices are half of what they were last summer, and other materials producers are struggling just to meet the cost of production. Construction unemployment is over 19%, putting a cap on this year’s wage settlements and executive compensation. It’s starting to look like a long, hot summer.

Cover Photo: Nadezhda Schour, Illustration by Guy Lawrence/ENR

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