Road and highway services did not experience the same downturns as other industries during the recession, due to robust federal stimulus investment in infrastructure development.

Though this funding has tapered off, firms will continue to rely on federal dollars and the general health of the economy in the years to come. In particular, a new surface transportation bill will likely come into fruition in the near future, stimulating demand. Likewise, residential construction is expected to pick up, which will also boost demand. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Road & Highway Services industry to its growing industry report collection.

The Road and Highway Services industry supplies specialized construction services for transportation infrastructure projects. The industry principally generates revenue as specialized trade subcontractors to road authorities and construction contractors on road maintenance and construction projects. In the five years to 2012, IBISWorld expects total industry revenue to climb at an average annual rate of 2.4% to total $15.9 billion, greatly exceeding the subdued pace of US GDP growth (0.6% per year), according to IBISWorld industry analyst Kathleen Ripley. While the Great Recession has brought a heavy toll on almost every US construction industry, robust federal stimulus investment in infrastructure development under the 2009 American Recovery and Reconstruction Act has supported the industry through this turbulent time. In 2012, revenue is projected to dip 1.9%, however, as this federal stimulus program ends and state and local governments struggle with budget deficits.

Looking forward, the federal commitment to highway and infrastructure funding and the overall health of the US economy will determine industry performance, Ripley said. In the five years to 2017, IBISWorld forecasts revenue will increase. From 2013 on, the Road & Highway Services industry is projected to return to moderate growth after a new surface transportation bill is signed and improvements in the US economy continue. Overall, consumer spending, private sector development and state and local governments' transportation funding is forecast to boost industry performance.

Road service contractors are typically small-scale operators servicing narrow geographically dispersed or specialist markets. Prominent players in the industry include Granite Construction Inc., a vertically integrated construction materials producer and heavy civil contractor; CRH plc, an international building materials group; and Holcim Inc., a Swiss company that supplies cement, asphalt and aggregates globally. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Road & Highway Services report in the US industry page.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Establishments in this industry are primarily subcontracted to provide specialist construction services for highway and street construction and maintenance projects (i.e. new work, reconstruction, periodic maintenance or repairs). The industry mainly includes specialist contractors that carry out discrete phases within a total highway and street construction project, such as highway grading, installing guardrails, installing street signage and line marking.

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