Competitive Bidding Showing Signs that the Construction Economy is Finally Improving?

The $46 million school renovation project of Dracut High School in Northeastern Massachusetts may provide signs that the construction economy is finally improving. Since the 2008 financial crisis, governments have found great deals for their construction projects.  With construction companies vying for work, public projects let out for bid have generally received numerous bids, often times well over the normal numbers in pre-crisis years.  With the increased competition came decreased prices, saving governments large amounts of money when performing much needed construction work.

But the increase in bidders and lower prices is not a sign of economic strength.  In fact, it is a generally a sign of weakness, indicating that not enough private or commercial construction work exists to keep contractors busy, resulting in a rush to public works projects. 

The recent bids for the Dracut High School, therefore, are good economic indicators. Because only two bids were even proffered for the project, and because the lowest bid was priced only 1% over the construction manager’s estimate, the project may be a sign that things are finally improving. While this one project located in Northeastern Massachusetts is not necessarily an indicator of a national trend, will be continuing to look for signs of a change in the construction industry.

The bids were reported on July 24, 2012 by the Lowell Sun.