U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 9, 2001
Karen Whitney, (202) 366-0660
Claretta Duren, (202) 366-4636
FHWA Reports Road Construction Costs Increased in First Quarter of 2001
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced that highway construction costs increased 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2001 compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, and increased 9.5 percent compared to the first quarter a year ago.
The first quarter results raised the FHWA's composite index for highway construction costs to 151.2 percent of the 1987 base index (1987 average costs equal 100 percent).
Increases in the unit prices for common excavation, structural steel, and portland cement concrete raised the index in the first quarter. There were decreases in the unit prices for reinforcing steel, structural concrete, and bituminous concrete.
The three-quarter moving composite price index for the fourth quarter of 2000 -- obtained by combining data for the last two quarters of 2000 with the first quarter of 2001 -- decreased 1.6 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:
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 1st quarter of 2001, 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 2000, 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 2000.
2 Weighted average unit prices for the last two quarters of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001.
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.