Construction News Tracker is presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.
So how did the partial government shutdown affect the construction sector? The normal appropriation of federal money ran out December 21st, ending the flow of money to states. Oklahoma, for example, placed on hold 36 road projects worth $133 million — shutting down the bid process that contractors normally utilize. Even though transit funding remained available through the Highway Trust Fund there were no federal agency staff to administer it along to state coffers. With only 25% of the funding available to states from the feds there's reluctance now to bid on anything in preparation for the coming summer building season.
Lucky enough to be holding a ticket to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta? Georgia DOT reports it has everything under control, highway wise, for bowl attendees — unlike the last time the city hosted the event in 2014. That's the year of Snowmageddon where highways were left snow covered and with a hefty dose of ice as unexpected storms pummeled Georiga's capitol city area. In the four years since, GADOT has purchased snowplows, salt trucks and other winter weather equipment to cope with anything that comes its way.
A recent surevey by AGC and Sage Construction and Real Estate of the nation's contractors indicates 79% plan to expand their payrolls in 2019. AGC CEO Steven Sandherr says the optimistic outlook for construction is consistent with ongoing problems of finding skilled workers. The survey covered 13 segments of the industry, and for each one between 23% and 32% of the respondents expect their project dollar volume to increase this year while in one segment of the report contractors forsee a drop in 2019 work. The net reading was between 10% and 17% for every category except multifamily. Public building, highways, schools and hospital construction all scored quite high. Contractors indicated they must remain competitive to keep pace with growing demand.
With World of Concrete now over the exhibition is being touted as a major success. ForConstructionPros.com Editor Larry Stewart spent his show hours talking with attendees and exhibitors and taking the pulse of construction in this report...
In closing, kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.
This is Construction News Tracker looking over the industry that makes the world a better place, presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.