By Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist, ARTBA

Transportation construction contractors performed $15.8 billion in work in June, up 4 percent from $15.2 billion in June 2019, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Construction activity in June averaged $14.1 billion between 2017 and 2019. 

The monthly value of work was up for highway, airport runway, railroad, and waterway construction.  

Four months of data provide broader insights into the impact of COVID-19 on the transportation construction market. As reported by state DOTs and contractors, work on transportation projects continued as the industry was deemed essential in nearly every state.  

While this is good news and the outlook over the next three months remains positive, there is ongoing concern in many states about the impact of a prolonged economic downturn on transportation revenue and capital spending.   

Most states have continued with scheduled bid lettings and openings since March, but 16 states and 20 local areas have announced project delays over $9.5 billion (See the weekly report in the Members-Only section.) 

The value of transportation construction put in place measures the amount of work completed on a project in a given time period, regardless of the size of the contract or when it was awarded.  More details are available as part of ARTBA’s Transportation Construction Market Intelligence Service.