- The Dodge Momentum Index saw its second-straight month-over-month increase in November, rising 13.9% to a mark of 149.5 from a revised October reading of 131.3, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
- Following four months of declines, Dodge attributed November's climb to gains in both the commercial (19.6%) and institutional (5.5%) sectors with 21 nonresidential projects valued at $100 million or more entering the planning stages. These projects include a $300 million mixed-use hotel complex at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and a $200 million UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital in Pittsburgh.
- The Index is up almost 21% overall from November 2016, with commercial (+24%) and institutional (+17%) contributing to that year-over-year trend. October's and November's positive trajectories indicate continued expansion in 2018.
Airports, highlighted in the report, are just one example of an industry segment that has seen a great deal of activity this year.
One of the biggest projects to break ground this year was the $4 billion Delta Air Lines terminal redevelopment at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The terminal, which sees some of the nation's most airport traffic, will eventually be able to accommodate any size airplane, with the goal of reducing traffic and wait times at its gates.
LaGuardia is also underway with another $4 billion construction project, the new Central Terminal Building. That project is being delivered by LaGuardia Gateway Partners as part of a public-private partnership (P3) with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In August, the project received a star-power boost when LGP took on an investment from NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson's enterprise team, which also recently bought into the $1.8 billion Denver International Airport Jeppesen Terminal P3.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administers a grant program that funds basic airport capital projects and repairs, but multi-billion terminal projects like those at LaGuardia typically would not qualify. The Airport Improvement Program, according to eTurboNews, out of a $3.35 billion budget, had awarded nearly $3 billion as of Sep. 14 for projects like new lighting and runway repair.
The price tag of the nation's necessary airport repairs still dwarfs the FAA budget. The Airports Council International-North America reported earlier this year that it would take $100 billion over the next half-decade to make all the necessary repairs and infrastructure upgrades.