Report: Transportation construction to grow in 2017

By |  December 5, 2016

Total transportation construction and related market activity is expected to grow 1.3 percent in 2017, driven largely by increases in highway and bridge private construction activity supporting residential and commercial developments, reports Alison Premo Black, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) chief economist, in ARTBA’s U.S. Transportation Construction 2017 Market Forecast.

The market is expected to reach $247.8 billion in 2017, up from $244.5 billion in 2016, according to the report. This includes public and private investment for highways, bridges, public transit, rail, ports and waterways, and terminals. It also includes private investment for roads, streets, driveways and parking lots in residential and commercial developments and support work by state departments of transportation and local governments for highway and bridge planning and design work, routine maintenance and right-of-way purchases.

Although the December 2015 enactment of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act provided stability for public highway investment, the increases that will be realized in the federal funding program are just above anticipated growth in inflation and project costs, the report says. Many state departments of transportation did not obligate their federal funds in time for many projects to get started during the 2016 construction season. In fact, 20 percent of the federal funds available to the states were not obligated until September 2016, according to the report.

Congress is also expected to pass a continuing resolution that would hold all fiscal year 2017 discretionary spending, including transportation programs, until March 31, 2017. Under this approach, the $900 million increase in highway investment authorized by the FAST Act and included in the House and Senate FY 2017 transportation funding bills would be delayed at least until next spring, ARTBA reports.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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