By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow 4.2 percent in 2019, according to ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black’s annual forecast. Increased transportation investment by federal, state and local governments will help drive the growth across all modes, she said during a Dec. 5 webinar for analysts, investors, transportation construction market executives, and public officials.

Total domestic transportation construction and related-market activity is projected to reach $278.1 billion, up from 2018’s $266.9 billion, after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

The transportation construction market also grew by 4.2 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, driven largely by gains in airport terminal and runway construction, which increased by $5.8 billion, or 33 percent.  Spending on public highway and street construction rose by $2.7 billion in 2018.

One wild card in the forecast, Black says, is the outlook for the scheduled 2020 reauthorization of the FAST Act surface transportation law and the ability of Congress to find additional revenues to support the Highway Trust Fund.

“If states start delaying transportation improvement projects in response to uncertainty over the future of the federal program, it will temper 2019 market growth,” Black said

Other highlights of the forecast can be seen in ARTBA’s press release.

The full forecast can be purchased at www.artbastore.org.