Nonbuilding construction in February increased 9 percent to $253.8 billion (annual rate), which followed its substantial 92 percent hike in January. The electric utility and gas plant category in February topped its heightened January amount by 17 percent, with the inclusion of the Sempra LNG export terminal in Hackberry, La., at an estimated construction start cost of $8.4 billion. (In January, two segments of an LNG export facility in Freeport, Texas, valued at $6.0 billion were included as construction starts.)
Other large projects that lifted the electric power and gas plant category in February were the $1.2 billion Stateline Solar Farm in California, a $675 million natural gas-fired power plant in Maryland, and another solar power facility in California valued at $450 million.
Public works construction as a group improved 2 percent in February, with a substantial push coming from highways and bridges which advanced 12 percent. Large highway and bridge projects in February were led by several in the New York metropolitan area – a $283 million tunnel rehabilitation in Brooklyn, a $213 million toll plaza rehabilitation at the RFK Bridge in the Bronx, and a $96 million toll plaza improvement project on the New Jersey Turnpike in Bayonne, N.J.
The environmental public works categories in February were mixed, with river/harbor development up 29 percent, sewer construction up 4 percent, and water supply construction down 3 percent. The miscellaneous public works category, which had been boosted in January by the start of the $350 million Sun Life Stadium modernization in the Miami area, fell 33 percent in February.