ARTBA: US transportation infrastructure market to rebound in 2018

By |  December 1, 2017

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The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is anticipated to rebound slightly next year, following a 2.8 percent drop in 2017, reports the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

According to ARTBA, total domestic transportation construction and related market activity is forecast to reach $255 billion in 2018, a year-over-year increase of 3.2 percent after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

The 2017 market performance is expected to close at $247.1 billion. The 2017 market drop can be attributed to the overall national decline in state and local highway and bridge spending, which is expected to be down 6.4 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, ARTBA adds. In addition, although there have been increases in state and local revenues for transportation purposes in a number of states over the past years, some of that revenue is dedicated to debt reduction or has been delayed from reaching the transportation market due to state budget issues.

Although the overall U.S. transportation infrastructure market will see modest growth in 2018, the situation will likely vary significantly by state and region, says Alison Premo Black, chief economist at ARTBA. The market is forecast to grow in 20 states and Washington D.C., decrease in 23 states and remain relatively flat in the remaining seven states, Black adds.

The largest growth is expected in California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Virginia and Washington, and a slowdown is expected in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada and Oklahoma. The market is expected to remain steady in Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Iowa.

Federal highway funding of state Department of Transportation (DOT) programs provided by the 2015 FAST Act will continue to show growth in 2018, ARTBA says.

ARTBA’s report forecasts the value of public highway, street and related work by state DOTs and local governments to increase a modest 2.4 percent in 2018 to $58.1 billion after falling 6.4 percent to $56.8 billion in 2017. It forecasts the public bridge and tunnel construction market to grow from $30.5 billion in 2017 to $31.3 billion in 2018; public transit and rail construction to grow from $20.3 billion in 2017 to $21.3 billion in 2018; and subway and light rail investment to grow from $7.7 billion in 2017 to $8 billion in 2018. Finally, ARTBA, forecasts airport terminal and related work to increase from $11.7 billion in 2017 to $13.4 billion.

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