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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 15, 2000
Contacts:
Karen Whitney, (202) 366-0660
Claretta Duren, (202) 366-4636
FHWA 52-00

FHWA Reports Road Construction Costs for Second Quarter of 2000

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced that highway construction costs increased 13.4 percent in the second quarter of 2000 compared to the first quarter of 2000, and increased 9.2 percent compared to the second quarter a year ago.

The second quarter results raised the FHWA's composite index for highway construction costs to 156.6 percent of the 1987 base index (1987 average costs equal 100 percent).

Increases in the unit prices for bituminous concrete, reinforcing steel, common excavation, structural steel, and structural concrete raised the index in the second quarter. The unit price for portland cement concrete was lower for the second quarter index.

The three-quarter moving composite price index for the first quarter of 2000 obtained by combining data for the last quarter of 1999 with the first two quarters of 2000 increased 5.4 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:

Quarter

Year

Quarterly Price Index

Percentage Change

Three-quarter Moving Index1

Percentage Change

2nd Quarter1

1998

125.6

--

125.8

--

3rd Quarter

1998

136.8

11.8

130.6

3.8

4th Quarter

1998

131.4

-1.1

132.8

1.7

1st Quarter

1999

130.7

-7.4

134.4

1.2

2nd Quarter

1999

143.4

13.0

134.4

0.0

3rd Quarter

1999

131.8

-13.5

138.7

3.2

4th Quarter

1999

144.1

9.3

137.2

-1.1

1st Quarter

2000

138.1

-4.2

144.6

5.4

2nd Quarter

2000

156.6

13.4

--

--

1 For the three-quarter moving index, these are the middle quarters of the three-quarter periods.

The price levels of the component items of the quarterly index in the 2nd quarter of 2000, the previous quarter, and the same quarter a year ago, and the corresponding percentage changes, are shown in the following table:

 

Price Index

1987 = 100

Percentage change
this quarter
(2nd quarter, 2000) from:

Component

2nd Quarter 2000

1st Quarter 2000

2nd Quarter 1999

1st Quarter 2000

2nd Quarter 1999

Excavation

143.6

111.8

133.5

28.4

7.6

Portland cement concrete

170.2

170.9

197.3

-0.4

-13.7

Bituminous concrete

148.9

132.5

132.6

12.4

12.3

Composite surfacing

155.9

145.1

153.9

7.4

1.3

Reinforcing steel

150.2

133.9

124.3

12.2

20.8

Structural steel

161.9

121.9

136.3

32.8

18.8

Structural concrete

164.8

151.3

141.1

8.9

16.8

Composite structures

161.5

140.6

136.9

14.9

18.0

Composite price index

156.6

138.1

143.4

13.4

9.2

 

The price levels of the current component items of the three-quarter moving 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:

 

Three-Quarter Moving Price Index

1987 = 100

Percentage Change This Quarter

(1st Quarter 2000) from:

Component

1st Quarter 2000

4th Quarter 1999

1st Quarter 1999

4th Quarter 1999

1st Quarter 1999

Excavation

118.6

114.7

118.7

3.4

-0.1

Portland cement concrete

173.0

160.2

168.5

8.0

2.7

Bituminous concrete

138.5

134.0

120.3

3.4

15.1

Composite surfacing

149.8

142.6

136.1

5.0

10.1

Reinforcing steel

135.5

130.1

126.2

4.2

7.4

Structural steel

144.6

132.7

134.5

9.0

7.5

Structural concrete

154.6

146.1

143.6

5.8

7.7

Composite structures

148.7

139.8

138.2

6.4

7.6

Composite price index

144.6

137.2

134.4

5.4

7.6

The U.S. average contract unit prices for the index items during the various periods shown are:

 

Individual Quarters

Three-Quarters

Component

Unit

1st Quarter 2000

2nd Quarter 2000

4th Quarter 19991

1st Quarter 20002

Excavation Cubic yard

$2.71

$3.48

$2.78

$2.88

Portland cement concrete Square yard3

25.17

25.07

23.60

25.49

Bituminous concrete Ton

32.65

36.72

33.04

34.13

Reinforcing steel Pound

0.590

0.662

0.573

0.597

Structural steel Pound

1.079

1.432

1.175

1.280

Structural concrete Cubic yard

364.40

396.92

351.75

372.31

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.

3 Prices for Portland cement concrete surfacing reflect adjustments to a standard 9-inch thickness and do not include costs for reinforcing steel and joints.

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