The construction market for domestic transportation infrastructure will grow to $135.8 billion next year, up 5 percent from $129 billion in 2013, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
Construction on airport runways and terminals is expected to rise by double digits, year over year, and bridge and tunnel construction will grow by 6 percent. Bridge and tunnel work in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and six additional states will account for half of the record $30.1-billion market.
Port construction and work on the nation’s railways will both improve by 5 percent next year, the organization predicted. Port construction has mostly been propelled by anticipation of the Panama Canal, ARTBA said; among the top states for construction in 2014 are California, Florida, Illinois and Washington. Heavy rail investment by Class I railroads will grow from $11.6 billion to $12.6 billion.
“Increase in demand to transport goods, including shale and crude oil, as well as multimodal improvements for better port-rail connections, are driving higher levels of railroad investment,” ARTBA said.
Road pavement work will be dampened by the uncertainty of funding for state highway programs, but will still grow 2.6 percent, year over year. The group predicts that public and private investments of $42.7 billion will be reserved for highways, roads and streets.
“Absent congressional action to improve the revenue stream into the federal Highway Trust Fund before next October, federal support for state programs faces a potential $40 billion cut in fiscal year 2015,” Alison Premo Black, ARBTA’s chief economist, said in a statement. “That uncertainty is already putting a damper on state project lettings. Congress needs to act.”
Black added that a more positive outlook would come from some sense of stability in the federal program. States like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts are leading the way with bipartisan support for transportation investment, she said.