Jersey Construction Forecasted to Reach More Than $26B

Wed December 15, 2004 - Northeast Edition

The economic news that public and private construction in New Jersey will climb to more than $26 billion over the next two years was reported recently at the annual Construction Forecast Seminar sponsored by the New Jersey Alliance for Action (NJAFA).

Alliance President Philip K. Beachem said the projected construction totals for 2005 to 2006 were the highest recorded in the 20 years that the construction forecasts have been held. The figures are eagerly anticipated annually by New Jersey’s business community and organized labor as a barometer of which way the economy may be headed.

The construction estimates delivered by representatives of some 25 public and private agencies showed a substantial increase of approximately $5.4 billion above the projections of $20.6 billion that were made at the seminar held last year. The $26 billion totals were a 27 percent increase over last year’s figures.

Leading the way at the seminar on construction plans were New Jersey’s colleges and universities, industrial and office properties, utilities, local school construction, pharmaceuticals and transportation.

Beachem emphasized, however, that the optimistic projections could be affected by decisions that have to be made both in Washington and Trenton on transportation and local school construction funding. He noted the Congress has still not made final agreement and is relying on temporary extensions for the massive TEA-21 federal program on transportation aid to the states. He also said it is crucial that the governor and legislature in New Jersey take action to recapitalize the state transportation trust fund.

The seminar moderator, Richard Franklin, area manager, Public Service Electric & Gas, also stressed that there are a number of key factors involving funding that still could negatively impact the very positive trends revealed at the seminar.

The construction estimates were anticipated spending of some $12.9 billion for 2005 and $13.1 billion for 2006.

Among the major two-year construction estimates delivered by public sector representatives were:

• New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation, $2.6 billion.

• Colleges and universities, $2.9 billion.

• New Jersey Economic Development Authority, $1.45 billion.

• The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, $1.42 billion.

• New Jersey Department of Transportation, $1.13 billion.

• New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, $1.2 billion.

• Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, $908 million.

• New Jersey Association of County Engineers, $1 billion.

Key two-year construction estimates from the private sector were:

• National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, $3.4 billion.

• New Jersey Utilities, $2.5 billion.

• New Jersey Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology companies, $2.4 billion.

• The Meadowlands Xanadu project, $900 million.

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(This article appears courtesy of the New Jersey Alliance For Action.) CEG Staff