FHWA Report Tracks Highway Construction Inflation

Construction costs nationwide grew by an estimated 68 percent during the past 13 years, with key components measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such as asphalt, concrete, and metal, growing at 107 percent, 61 percent, and 45 percent, respectively between 2003 and 2016.

DOT's Federal Highway Administration on July 19 released its latest National Highway Construction Cost Index, which is a quarterly estimate of the rising cost of domestic highway construction and maintenance over time. It is the first time the Index – now called NHCCI 2.0 – has been published since the agency made major methodological revisions to improve its accuracy.

NHCCI 2.0 is the first major revision since FHWA created the index in 2007 and reflects steadily rising costs of highway construction and repair, according to the agency, which said although the data fluctuate slightly each quarter because of various factors (including market conditions, labor supply, materials costs, and inflation), the latest figures show highway construction costs today are up by 67 percent from similar costs in 2003.

The information is important to infrastructure decision makers who rely on forecasts and cost estimates to ensure sufficient financial support for the nation's growing transportation needs. According to the new index, highway construction costs nationwide grew by an estimated 68 percent during the past 13 years, with key components measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such as asphalt, concrete, and metal, growing at 107 percent, 61 percent, and 45 percent, respectively between 2003 and 2016.

"Many states track their own construction costs, with some experiencing much higher inflation than others. For example, California's composite cost index increased by 143 percent between 2003 to 2016, while Texas' increased by only 122 percent over the same period," FHWA reported.

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