The latest ups and downs
- Written by Mark Kuhar
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has some good and bad news. First the bad. Continuing budget challenges for state and local governments, uncertainty surrounding a new long-term federal surface transportation bill, and winding down of infrastructure investment under the stimulus law, will drive a 4.4 percent contraction in the U.S. highway and bridge construction market in 2011, according to ARTBA Vice President of Policy & Senior Economist Alison Premo Black. The real value of highway, street and bridge construction is expected to fall to $78.5 billion, compared to 2010's estimated $82.2 billion level, according to Black. One positive note: the amount of work completed on bridges is expected to increase to $25.4 billion in 2010, Black says. The value of real work in the bridge market has nearly doubled in the last decade as state and local governments have increasingly addressed long-deteriorating conditions.