ARTBA predicts US construction infrastructure growth

By |  December 12, 2012

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) annual forecast suggests that the U.S. transportation construction infrastructure market will show modest growth in 2013. According to ARTBA’s forecast, this segment will increase 3 percent to $130.5 billion in 2013.

The association’s chief economist, Alison Premo Black, says growth is expected in highway and street pavements, private work for driveways and parking lots, as well as airport terminal and runways. But ARTBA predicts the bridge market, which has shown substantial growth over the last 10 years, to remain flat in 2013.

According to Black, the pavements market will be sluggish in 2013, growing 2.8 percent to $58.4 billion. This includes $47.7 billion in public and private investments in highways, roads and streets, and $10.7 billion in largely private investments in parking lots, driveways and related structures.

ARTBA anticipates pavement work to be down in 25 states. Growth above a 5-percent range is expected in 19 states.

Still, according to Black, there are at least two developments that could lead to additional market activity in the short term and strengthen the market over the next two years. First, the law’s restructuring of the federal highway program offers state transportation departments more flexibility in their use of federal funds. This could lead to slightly increased investment in highway, bridge and pavement work above the forecast in some states.

Second, Black says MAP-21’s expanded federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act loan program should increase construction activity in some states.

Black also notes that major reconstruction work along the East Coast in states that were affected by Hurricane Sandy could be a market factor in 2013.

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