Modest boost

News ARTBA December 05, 2002
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Despite budget problems in many states, the domestic highway construction market should still grow 2-3% in 2003, an economist for the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) said on Dec. 4.

ARTBA Vice President of Economics and Research Dr. William Buechner said record federal investment levels resulting from the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century during the past two years will drive 2003 market growth after a modest performance in 2002.

Through this October, the value of construction work performed on highway and bridge projects was $46.5 billion, up only 0.1% compared with the first 10 months of 2001, according to ARTBA.

Buechner said that many states operating on a July to June fiscal year and experiencing revenue shortfalls may have temporarily delayed road projects for cash management reasons last spring.

During the late summer, however, the pace of highway construction accelerated and set new monthly records in September and October. That trend, Buechner said, should continue through the end of 2002, resulting in modest growth for highway construction over 2001.

An ARTBA survey of state transportation departments found most expecting no disruptions or cuts in their highway construction programs during 2003.

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