By Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist, ARTBA 

The value of state and local government transportation contract awards dropped to $6.7 billion in August, from $8.4 billion in August 2019, a 20 percent decline. The August average for 2017-2019 is $8.4 billion.   

The value of awards was down in 29 states and Washington, D.C. and up in 21, including Texas, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and Nebraska.     

Declines in July and August followed several months of increased awards. Year-to-date, the value of awards is $60 billion, down from $61.4 billion through August 2019. 

Most state and local governments continued to bid and award planned projects from March to June, even as the broader economic impacts of COVID-19 began to impact transportation revenues. The slowdown in the value of awards is not unexpected given the budgetary impacts of the pandemic.

The monthly value of awards can fluctuate significantly based on state programs and projects. Details by state and mode are available as part of ARTBA’s Transportation Construction Market Intelligence Service.