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78 • ROCK products • August 2018 entered as construction starts in May – the $1.4 billion West- side Purple Line Extension (section 2) in Los Angeles and the $1.1 billion Green Line Extension in Somerville, Mass. The sewer and hazardous waste category soared 196 percent in May, reflecting $1.4 billion related to the start of environ- mental cleanup work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico that will span up to 10 years. Water supply construction and river/harbor development registered similar gains in May, rising 25 percent and 22 per- cent, respectively, with the latter helped by the start of a $310 million flood mitigation project in Brooklyn, N.Y. Highway and bridge construction was the one public works project type to recede in May, dropping 26 percent as it con- tinues to retreat after very strong activity in March. Through the first five months of 2018, highway and bridge construc- tion starts were still up 4 percent compared to last year. The electric utility/gas plant category dropped 24 percent in May, although the latest month did include the start of a $325 million wind farm in Illinois and a $250 million transmission line project in Missouri. Nonresidential Building – Spending in May was $248.6 billion (annual rate), climbing 18 percent after a 12 percent decline in April. The institutional categories as a group increased 40 percent, reaching the highest level since last September. Amusement and recreational building provided much of the lift, advancing 138 percent in May with the help of these large projects – the $764 million expansion to the Wash- ington State Convention Center in Seattle, the $175 million Wynn Paradise Park Convention Center (phase 1) in Las Vegas and the $168 million Harrah's Northern California Casino in Ione, Calif. The transportation terminal category also advanced sharply in May, rising 132 percent as the result of groundbreaking for the $740 million North Concourse terminal at Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah. Educational facilities, the largest nonresidential building cat- egory by dollar amount, grew 29 percent in May after slipping 11 percent in April. Large educational facility projects that reached groundbreaking in May included the $400 million Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, a $186 million high school in Sherwood, Ore., and a $185 million renova- tion of an office building into a K-12 private school facility in Washington, D.C. The religious buildings category also strengthened in May, growing 36 percent after a weak amount in April. On the neg- ative side, healthcare facilities slipped 4 percent in May and the public buildings category (courthouses and detention facilities) fell 24 percent. The commercial categories as a group rose 7 percent in May, showing improvement for the second month in a row after April's 6 percent gain. Hotel construction had a strong May, climbing 27 percent as the result of such projects as the $320 million Four Seasons Hotel in New Orleans and the $222 mil- lion Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, Texas. Warehouse construction advanced 21 percent in May, reflecting the start of a $200 million warehouse complex in Edgerton, Kan., and an $83 million tire distribution center in the Memphis area. New office construction starts increased 7 percent in May, lifted by a $1.0 billion expansion to a Facebook data center in Papillion, Neb., and a $300 million office building in Charlotte, N.C. Also contributing to May's commercial building upturn was the commercial garage category, which grew 19 percent. However, store construction retreated from its improved April amount, falling 33 percent in May. The manufactur- ing building category in May plunged 54 percent, showing weaker activity for the second month in a row. Residential building – Spending in May was $312.8 billion (annual rate), essentially unchanged from its April amount. Multifamily housing in May made a partial 13 percent rebound after a 20 percent decline in April. There were six multifamily projects valued each at $100 mil- lion or more that reached groundbreaking in May, compared to four such projects in April. Leading the way was the $173 million multifamily portion of a $200 million mixed-use high- rise in Oakland, $162 million for two residential towers in Bethesda, Md., and $155 million for the multifamily portion of a $190 million mixed-use complex in the San Jose, Calif., area. Single-family housing in May retreated 4 percent from the previous month, as the continued expansion for this proj- ect type struggles to take hold in early 2018. By geography, single family housing showed this pattern in May relative to April – the South Central, down 8 percent; the West and South Atlantic, each down 6 percent; and the Midwest and Northeast, each up 5 percent. Housing Starts Also Rise Total housing starts rose 5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.35 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest housing starts report since July 2007. While housing production numbers rose, overall permits – which are a sign of future housing production activity – dropped 4.6 percent to 1.3 million units in May. Single-family permits fell 2.2 percent to 844,000 while multifamily permits fell 8.7 percent to 457,000. "Ongoing job creation, positive demographics and tight Aggregates Industry Almanac Economic Update

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