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Images of the Year In Construction

The world struggled with issues of terrorism, security, economic recovery, environment and quality of life in 2003 and construction was along for the ride, sometimes driving solutions for sticky problems and other times being dragged reluctantly along. Global construction needs seemed almost insurmountable when taken as a whole. Yet when broken down to the local and regional business that construction is, the many thousands of companies and millions of people on the job were able to deliver what project owners wanted and were ready for more.


There were many rocks in the road that construction traveled in 2003 and the degree of difficulty in getting through depended largely where you were in the world. The war against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan was the hardest and most dangerous assignment, followed closely by the subsequent reconstruction efforts there. Engineers and other construction people did their part, and some made the supreme sacrifice for their nations, companies and beliefs.

Still, the more ordinary aspects of construction had their own drama. Blackouts and brownouts had been pointing to deficiencies in the U.S. power supply for several years. But only when 50 million people in the Northeast U.S. lost power in August did power move from being a commodity to a strategic element of life.


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2003: The Year in Construction

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  • 2004: The Year in Construction,
  • Power supply, roads, bridges, airports, ports, mass transit, water, wastewater–infrastructure projects of all kinds grew in importance, as governments at all levels struggled to find the money to pay for them. Congress debated the merits of long-term national transportation and energy bills with very large dollar numbers, but stalled in the action phase. But lawmakers and government agencies did advance the cause of protecting existing infrastructure from terrorist attack in a year when such tensions were mounting.

    In 2003, there finally were signs that the painful U.S. recession in some private-sector construction markets might be easing. Manufacturing, industrial and even commercial buildings showed new life. Like other recoveries, the rebound is spotty–some regions are starting to bustle and others are shut out. The same was true for other regions of the world.

    Whether the projects that the industry designed and constructed during the year were public or private, large or small, it still took people on the ground and in the air to do the work. These pages and the ones that follow show the industry at its task in 2003.

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