Dec 06, 2018
ARTBA estimates 4.2 percent transportation infrastructure construction growth
BY AsphaltPro Staff
The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow 4.2 percent in 2019, according to latest economic forecast from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
In exact numbers, transportation construction and related activities are expected to reach $278.1 billion, up from $266.9 billion in 2018. The market also grew by 4.2 percent from 2017 to 2018, most of which was driven by airport terminal and runway construction.
The anticipated growth for 2019 is expected to be driven mostly by increased transportation investment by federal, state and local governments, said ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black.
However, Black said, the anticipated increase in transportation construction could be cut short if states delay projects ahead of the scheduled 2020 re-authorization of the FAST Act and Congress’s attempt to find additional revenue for the Highway Trust Fund.
Other risks to the overall market growth include material prices, increased labor costs and potential labor shortages in some regional markets.
Black also said the growth could vary significantly regionally and from state to state. Activity is expected to increase in 20 states and Washington D.C. remain steady in five states, and may slow down in the remaining 20 states.
Among the other findings in Black’s forecast:
Public & Private Highway, Street & Related Construction
- The real value of public highway, street and related work by state DOTs and local governments—the largest market sector—is expected to increase by 5 percent to $66.5 billion after growing 4.5 percent in 2018.
- Work on private highways, bridges, parking lots and driveways will increase from $65.9 billion in 2018 to $69.1 billion in 2019 and will continue to grow over the next five years as market activity increases in those sectors.
Bridges & Tunnels
- The pace of bridge and tunnel work slowed in 2018, but is expected to grow 1.5 percent next year to $31.7 billion, with the pace increasing to over 2 percent annually in 2020 and beyond.
Light Rail, Subways, & Railroads
- Public transit and rail construction is expected to increase from $19 billion in 2018 to $20 billion in 2019, a 5.7 percent increase.
- Subway and light rail investment is expected to reach a new record level, increasing from $7.7 billion in 2018 to $8.2 billion in 2019.
Airport Runways & Terminals
- After growing 38 percent in 2018, airport terminal and related work, including structures like parking garages, hangars, air freight terminals and traffic towers, is expected to increase from $18.4 billion in 2018 to $19.2 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent.
- Runway work, which was up 18 percent in 2018, is forecasted to increase from $4.9 billion in 2018 to $5.1 billion in 2019.
Ports & Waterways
- The value of port and waterway investment is expected to grow 3 percent to $2.6 billion in 2019. Construction activity in 2018 was $2.5 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2017.
The full forecast can be purchased at www.artbastore.org.