Source: ARTBA analysis of McGraw Hill data for January to December 2014 compared with January to December 2013. Weighted with the ARTBA Price Index that takes into account material prices, wages and inflation.

The real value of state and local government highway and bridge contract awards was down 15 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, according to ARTBA’s analysis of data from McGraw Hill. State and local governments awarded $56.9 billion in highway and bridge work between January and December 2014, compared to $67.1 billion during the same time period in 2013, when adjusted for material costs and inflation.

Though 2013 was a record year for highway and bridge contract awards, awards in 2014 are still down compared to pre- and post-recession levels. The value of highway and bridge contract awards averaged $60.2 billion between 2006 and 2012.

The value of highway and bridge contract awards was down in 22 states and Washington, D.C. Award values were up in 22 states and within a plus/minus five percent range in six states.

State and local government contract awards for airports were up 19 percent and railroad and mass transit contracts were up 37 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year. Contract awards for docks, piers and wharves were down 20 percent. Government awards represent a smaller share of spending in these transportation construction markets.

Contract awards are a leading indicator of future work in the industry as projects get underway. Detailed data by state and mode is available as part of ARTBA’s market subscription reports. For more information, contact ARTBA’s Lital Shair.