ROADS/BRIDGES: Slight growth expected for 2016 transportation construction market

ARTBA predicts a 4% growth for the transportation construction market in 2016, driven by the likely passage of a 5-year transportation bill

December 03, 2015

In 2016, the U.S. transportation construction market is expected to hit $208.3 billion, up from $200.5 billion in 2015, according to the American Road & Transportation Association’s (ARTBA) chief economist.

The likely passage of a five-year federal surface transportation bill, increased investment from state and local governments, and continued strengthening in the U.S. economy are the key factors driving an expected 4% growth in the 2016 U.S. transportation construction market.

Highways, Private Driveways & Parking Lot Construction 
The highway, private driveways and parking lot construction market will increase 4.2 percent to $71.4 billion. This includes $58.1 billion in public and private investment in highways, roads and streets, and $13.2 billion in largely private investments in parking lots, driveways and related structures.

Bridges & Tunnels
The bridge and tunnel construction market is expected to remain strong, increasing from $33.3 billion in 2015 to $34.6 billion in 2016.

Railroads, Light Rail & Subways
ARTBA is forecasting that light rail, subway and railroad construction will be down slightly in 2016 to $21.1 billion in work, compared to $21.3 billion in 2015. Heavy rail investment by Class 1 freight railroads will increase from $13.5 billion to $13.6 billion. Subway and light rail work is forecasted to decline slightly from $7.8 billion to $7.6 billion. 

Airport Runways & Terminals
The total value of airport runway and terminal construction will grow from $12.9 billion in 2015 to $14.3 billion in 2016. Investment in runways is expected to grow from $5.8 billion in 2015 to $6 billion in 2016, and terminal construction will grow from $5 billion to $5.9 billion. Terminal work over the next five years is forecast to reach $8 billion, the same investment levels before the market downturn that started after 2009. 

Ports & Waterways
The ports and waterway construction market will remain flat at $2.3 billion in 2016, with modest growth resuming in 2017 and beyond.  

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