[VIDEO] What Housing Starts Growth Means for Construction Industry

Housing industry will continue to expand in 2016 by an estimated 136,000 units, the best growth since 2007; plus more construction industry news in the February 4, 2016, edition of construction news tracker

Housing starts trend upwards...

World of Concrete underway...

And federal highway dollars flow...

That and more on Construction News Tracker presented by Caterpillar.

Housing starts in the U.S. grew 10.8% to 1.11 million units last year, in the latest report from the Department of Commerce. National Association of Home Builders is aglow with indications the nation's housing industry will continue to expand this year by an estimated 136,000 units, placing the growth at 12% — the best showing since 2007. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, housing's continued rise added to early 2015 growth in commercial and institutional building and a surge in electric utility and gas plant projects to lift total U.S. construction starts 8% to 645.5 billion.

World of Concrete is underway at the Las Vegas Convention Center. ForConstructionPros has its entire editorial team covering the event focusing on the industry. Concrete Contractor magazine Editor Ryan Olson has an inside look at what the convention is offering this year.

Our website will have continuing coverage of World of Concrete so log in whenever possible to keep updated on the industry.

A series of reports on the state of construction can be found on this website. It focuses on all aspects of construction and is highlighted with reports from economists of leading industry associations regarding market potential and trends.

States can now tap the piggy bank of the U.S. Department of Transportation for highway funds appropriated under the new highway bill. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, has $39.7 billion now available for federal aid highway funding.

The Fed apportioned list of states and amounts available in seven different categories has been posted online. If you're in the road building industry we encourage you to have a look. States control 92% of the money, an amount that exceeds $42 billion for the fiscal year.

Developers of this blinking blue light device hope that someday it will save motorists lives by detecting ice on road surfaces. The Iowa DOT is working to tweak its usefulness as Vanessa Fend reports.

The Iowa DOT is the first agency to test the device hoping it can someday be used extensively to warn motorists of the impending dangers of ice road building.

You may recall the massive tunneling machine Bertha employed at Seattle. After fits ans starts and striking an underground pipe that rendered it useless, Bertha was again operational Christmas week, but not for long. A massive 35-foot by 25-foot wide and 15-foot-deep sinkhole formed near the tunnel site. Washington state DOT has suspicions old Bertha caused it. Work has stopped once again until they can find a solutions. Our question is, could this machine be cursed?

In closing, a brief word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

This is Construction News Tracker presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

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