Global engineering and construction company AECOM is getting ready to spend as much as $3.5 billion in an effort to become the largest infrastructure firm in the world, according to Bloomberg.
AECOM will spend the money on acquisitions and organic growth over the next five years in preparation for an anticipated increase in U.S. infrastructure spending. Meanwhile, the company sent the Treasury Department a $200-billion list of water and infrastructure projects that it says will have an economic impact of up to $1.3 trillion.
- Despite an industry-wide sense of urgency and enthusiasm around President Donald Trump's proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, AECOM CEO Michael Burke said he doesn’t expect that work to begin in full until 2018 or 2019.
It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the projects on AECOM's wish list appear among the 50 high-priority infrastructure projects that the Trump administration reportedly floated to the country's governors in January.
One government project the company has said it is not interested in, according to CityLab, is the proposed U.S.–Mexico border wall, which has become a leading issue for Trump. He campaigned on it, and one of his first actions in office was to instruct the Department of Homeland Security to expedite its construction.
AECOM is not alone. Global engineering firms CH2M and Bechtel, as well as design firm Leo A Daly, are among other AEC firms that have indicated they will not submit bids, CityLab reported. Defense contractor Raytheon and Caddell have been listed as potential bidders on the work.
A DHS report estimated that the wall's construction would cost approximately $22 billion over three years, but that was before the agency's announcement this week, which provided bidders with additional details on the project. The DHS has specified that the bidders are to submit conceptual designs by March 10 for 30-foot-tall concrete barriers that would retain an aesthetic quality but be difficult to damage and hard to climb. Full bids by a narrowed list of firms are due May 3.
Other large infrastructure projects and developments like the new Rams stadium in Los Angeles and the decommissioning of a nuclear-power plant in San Diego promise to keep the company busy as well, Burke told Bloomberg.
AECOM has also expanded its construction business, announcing last month that it rebranded two fast-growing acquisitions, Tishman Construction and Hunt Construction, as AECOM Tishman and AECOM Hunt.