ARTBA releases economic forecast for 2008

The U.S. bridge and highway construction market will remain stable for 2008, according to a forecast by Dr. William Buechner, vice president of economics and research, American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Valued at an estimated $75.5 billion for 2007, Buechner expects highway and bridge projects to grow between three and four percent to approximately $78 billion in 2008.

Driving growth is SAFETEA-LU, the federal highway program that provided a $3.4 billion investment increase in 2007 over the previous year. Additionally, ARTBA expects the rise in materials costs – 12.5 percent in 2005 and 10.8 percent in 2006 – has slowed, rising just 5 percent in 2007. Buechner says the trend may allow projected federal, state and local highway investments to support more projects in 2008.

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