By Lital Shair Nada, research economist, ARTBA

Contractors performed $8.60 billion in transportation and related construction work in January, a hefty 12.1 percent increase over January 2018 and a new monthly record, according to ARTBA analysis of data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Typically construction work in January accounts for about 5 percent of all work completed in the year.

Activity increased in all sectors except subway and light rail. Highway and bridge construction were up 12.9 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively; railroad activity chugged to 22.3 percent gains; and maritime work made a big splash with a 61.4 percent increase.

The January growth extended 2018’s overall 7.7 percent increase in transportation construction market activity. Highway activity increased 5.0 percent last year. Only the bridge sector declined. Transportation construction sectors were marked by tepid growth and declines in 2017 and 2016.

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