Large Projects Drive Construction Starts, Overall Industry Still Down –

The number of total construction projects breaking ground increased 3 percent in May to $595.1 billion.

The increase was largely due to several large-scale nonresidential projects starting in May – if the projects were removed from the data, the construction industry would have seen no change in the start of building projects in the last year. From March to April, the industry saw a 25 percent decline in construction starts. The data from Dodge Data & Analytics suggest the industry has yet to see complete recovery.

Last month, construction starts increased 8 percent in nonresidential buildings, increased 4 percent in residential buildings, and declined 4 percent in nonbuildings.

Nonbuilding construction saw a 4 percent decline in May, with a 37 percent drop in utility/gas plants construction, and a 4 percent drop in the highway and bridge construction. However, miscellaneous nonbuilding increased 31 percent in May and environmental public works remained the same. Two large projects that began in May was the $1.3 billion widening of Interstate 635 in Dallas and the $789 million Lynnwood Link Extension in Lynnwood, Washington, and the $705 million widening of Interstate 405 in