Tag Archive for 'American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)'

ARTBA on: Final FY 2020 Spending Bill Ready for President’s Signature

By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

The Senate Dec. 19 passed 71-23 an eight-bill omnibus appropriations package, the next-to-last step to enactment of a full-year FY 2020 transportation spending law. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law before the midnight Dec. 20 expiration of the temporary measure now funding government programs.

The package fully-funds the FAST Act authorized spending for all Highway Trust Fund-supported programs and adds an additional $4.08 billion for surface transportation and airport improvements from the General Fund that were not previously authorized. The supplemental investment includes:

  • $2.17 billion for highways;
  • $400 million for airport capital projects;
  • $510 million for bus and transit program grants; and
  • $1 billion for BUILD (formerly known as TIGER) multi-modal surface transportation discretionary grants.

Full details in the chart below.

The expected enactment of the full fiscal year spending bills marks the first time in five years state departments of transportation will have their full spending authority prior to Jan. 1. The finalization of the appropriations and the repeal of the contract authority rescission in November mark an eventful end of year for federal transportation investment.

With these accomplishments complete, and other non-related major legislation also in the rear-view mirror, there is a clear path for Congress to tackle bipartisan measures post-impeachment.

Real Growth for 2020 Transportation Construction Market, ARTBA Chief Economist Says

he U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow at least 5 percent next year, according to the annual economic forecast released Dec. 4 by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

“The real market growth for 2020 is being fueled by increased transportation investments from federal, state and local governments,” says ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who conducted the analysis.

Total domestic transportation construction and related-market activity in 2020 should reach $300.4 billion, up from 2019’s $286.5 billion, after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

The transportation construction market grew by 8 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, driven largely by gains in highway, street and pavement work, which grew by $9.6 billion to $73.1 billion.

Airport construction work on runways and terminals increased by less than 1 percent in 2019 but was still at record investment levels.  Strong growth in the subway, light rail and mass transit sector, as well as private railroad investment helped support a strong year for transportation construction activity.

One variable, Black says, is the outlook for the reauthorization of the FAST Act transportation law, due in 2020, and the ability of Congress to find additional revenues to support the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  Any project delays because states are concerned about whether the next federal surface transportation bill is completed in a timely matter could temper 2020 market growth, Black added.  

Overall, transportation construction market activity is expected to increase or be steady in about half of the states, the ARTBA analysis shows.  Some of the largest markets expected to remain stable or grow include Texas, California, Illinois, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Black shared her findings during a Dec. 4 webinar for analysts, investors, transportation construction market executives, and public officials.

Other market variables include material prices, increased labor costs and labor shortages in some regions.   

Among the other key Black findings:

Public & Private Highway, Street & Related Construction  

  • The real value of public highway, street and related construction investment by state transportation departments and local governments—the largest market sector—is expected to increase by 6 percent to $77.5 billion after growing 15 percent in 2019.
  • Construction work on private highways, bridges, parking lots and driveways will increase from $69.1 billion in 2019 to $71.8 billion in 2020 and will continue to grow over the next five years as market activity increases in those sectors.

Bridges & Tunnels  

  • The pace of bridge and tunnel construction work stayed flat in 2019 and is forecast to grow by $800 million, or 3 percent, in 2020.  Bridge and tunnel market activity fell slightly from $28.8 billion in 2018 to $28.6 billion in 2019, after adjusting for project costs and inflation. 

Light Rail, Subways, & Railroads 

  • Public transit and rail construction are expected to grow from $23 billion in 2019 to $24.2 billion in 2020, a 5 percent increase. 
  • Subway and light rail investment are expected to reach a new record level, increasing from $10.3 billion this year to $11 billion in 2020.

Airport Runways & Terminals  

  • After growing 34 percent in 2018, airport terminal and related construction work, including structures like parking garages, hangars, air freight terminals and traffic towers, is estimated to increase from $18.5 billion in 2019 to $19.6 billion.
  • Runway work is forecasted to increase from $4.7 billion in 2019 to $4.9 billion in 2020.

Ports & Waterways 

  • The value of port and waterway investment should grow to $3.4 billion in 2020. Construction activity in 2019 was $3.3 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2018. 

ARTBA’s forecast is based on a series of proprietary econometric models for each mode and analysis of federal, state and local data and market intelligence. The full forecast can be purchased at www.artbastore.org.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public. 

An extensive review of the ARTBA 2020 Forecast and other related materials will be available in the January issues of all Associated Construction Publications (ACP).

ARTBA’s 2020 Transportation Construction Market Forecast Coming December 4

60-Minute Webinar for Transportation Construction Professionals, Public Officials & Analysts

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black will detail the association’s five-year transportation construction market outlook in her annual forecast, 3 p.m. Eastern, Dec. 4.

Topics to be covered as part of the webinar include:

  • National market forecast and which states are driving the activity;
  • Highway, bridge, airport runway, transit, freight, rail, and ports/waterway forecasts; and
  • The impacts of hundreds of recently approved state and local transportation funding initiatives.

ARTBA Senior Vice President of Congressional Relations Dean Franks will also provide an update on efforts to permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund, pass a long-term infrastructure plan and the reauthorization of the FAST Act.

The webinar is for transportation design and construction professionals, public agency officials, analysts and investors.

The registration fee is $350 for the private sector and $175 for public agency officials.  Paid participants will receive a copy of the complete U.S. Transportation Construction Market Forecast report (a $200 value); a PowerPoint presentation and “Q & A” session; and access to an online, interactive summary of the forecast results.

Register here.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public. 

60-Minute Webinar for Transportation Construction Professionals, Public Officials & Analysts

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black will detail the association’s five-year transportation construction market outlook in her annual forecast, 3 p.m. Eastern, Dec. 4.

Topics to be covered as part of the webinar include:

  • National market forecast and which states are driving the activity;
  • Highway, bridge, airport runway, transit, freight, rail, and ports/waterway forecasts; and
  • The impacts of hundreds of recently approved state and local transportation funding initiatives.

ARTBA Senior Vice President of Congressional Relations Dean Franks will also provide an update on efforts to permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund, pass a long-term infrastructure plan and the reauthorization of the FAST Act.

The webinar is for transportation design and construction professionals, public agency officials, analysts and investors.

The registration fee is $350 for the private sector and $175 for public agency officials.  Paid participants will receive a copy of the complete U.S. Transportation Construction Market Forecast report (a $200 value); a PowerPoint presentation and “Q & A” session; and access to an online, interactive summary of the forecast results.

Register here.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public.

ARTBA Washington Update: Congress Avoids Shutdown & Repeals $7.6 Billion Contract Authority Rescission

Dean Franks, senior vice president of congressional relations, ARTBA

This week Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed, a Continuing Resolution (CR) that keeps all discretionary government programs funded through Dec. 20. The legislation includes a full repeal of the $7.6 billion Contract Authority rescission that was set to take effect July 1.

The repeal of this rescission, authorized as part of the FAST Act surface transportation law, has been a priority for ARTBA and state DOTs for years. The rescission was a budgetary gimmick included by some members of the House Republican leadership as an attempt to make the FAST Act’s investment increases appear temporary by resetting and lowering the baseline for the surface transportation programs going into the next authorization law as the FAST Act winds down.

ARTBA, AASHTO, and other industry allies have worked to repeal the rescission because it could impede the states’ flexibility in utilizing federal-aid highway funds, especially going into the 2020 construction season. The ARTBA co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) sent a Nov. 15 letter to congressional leaders advocating for repeal of the rescission. A similar Nov. 14 letter signed by 42 national groups, including ARTBA, also called for the repeal.

Thanks are in order to the numerous members of Congress who advocated for the repeal, including Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), who introduced legislation (S. 1992) to repeal the rescission which, as of Nov. 22, had 60 co-sponsors. A Nov. 14 letter lead by Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) signed by over 100 of their colleagues also called for rescission repeal.

Regarding FY 2020 spending, the CR funds all relevant transportation programs at FY 2019 authorized levels. The House vote was 231-192 and the Senate approved 74-20. The president signed the measure only hours before the Nov. 21 expiration of an earlier CR.

A full-year transportation appropriations bill is still pending. The House and Senate have passed their versions of FY 2020 transportation bills.

ARTBA understands congressional negotiators are close to reaching agreement on spending levels for each of the 12 appropriations subcommittees, which will allow for the bills to move forward. ARTBA will continue working with members and staff on Capitol Hill, and partner organizations, to ensure a final, FY 2020 bill is enacted before Dec. 20.