U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FHWA Reports Road Construction Costs Decreased During First Quarter of 2000
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced that highway construction costs decreased 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2000 as compared to the fourth quarter of 1999 and 5.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 1999.
The first quarter results lowered the FHWA's composite index for highway construction costs to 138.1 percent of the 1987 base index (1987 average costs equal 100 percent).
Decreases in the unit prices for bituminous concrete, structural concrete, structural steel, and Portland cement concrete lowered the index in the first quarter. There were increases in the unit prices for common excavation and reinforcing steel.
The three-quarter moving composite price index for the fourth quarter of 1999 - obtained by combining data for the last two quarters of 1999 with the first quarter of 2000 - decreased 1.1 percent from the previous three-quarter average.
Trends in highway construction costs are measured by an index of average contract prices compiled from reports of state highway contract awards for federal-aid contracts greater than $500,000. Since the enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, the index reflects federal-aid contracts on the National Highway System.
The composite price indices during the past two years and the percentage changes from the preceding quarter have been as follows:
The price levels of the component items of the quarterly index in the 1st quarter of 2000, the previous quarter, and the same quarter a year ago, and the corresponding percentage changes, are shown in the following table:
The price levels of the current component items of the three-quarter moving index in the 4th quarter of 1999, the previous quarter, and the same quarter a year ago, and the corresponding percentage changes, are shown in the following table:
The U.S. average contract unit prices for the index items during the various periods shown are:
1 Weighted average unit prices for the last three quarters of 1999.
2 Weighted average unit prices for the last two quarters of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000.
3Prices for Portland cement concrete surfacing reflect adjustments to a standard 9-inch thickness and do not include costs for reinforcing steel and joints.