Northeast Region Bidding Landscape – March – May 2014

Today we look at the bidding landscape for the Northeast region during March through May 2014. Construction Data reported on 9,898 construction projects that had a bid date between March 1st and May 31st.  Of those 9,898 projects, 8,618 were bid by the public sector and 1,280 were private sector projects. The Northeast region encompasses the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

There was a significant increase in the number of projects in this region compared to the last bidding landscape for the Northeast which covered November 2013 through January 2014. The increase is indicative of a seasonal shift. Bidding activity is usually lowest in this region during the winter and picks back up in the spring. Historical data shows that the average number of projects bidding during this time over the past five years is 9,760 for total projects, 8,425 for public sector projects and 1,335 for private sector projects. The total number of projects, both public and private, is down from last year’s numbers. This is most likely due in large part to the number of winter storms that hit the region in March and April.

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Of the 8,618 public projects, 2,311 were classified as General Building, 2,960 were Specialty Trades, 3,361 were Heavy/Highway and 918 were Sewer & Water projects.  There is some overlap in the numbers since projects can fall into more than one classification. General Building projects are all general construction projects regardless of size. Specialty Trades are projects with three or less trades involved where subcontractors can bid as a “prime contractor”. Heavy & Highway projects include projects involving road paving, tennis courts, athletic fields, drainage, dredging, demolition, traffic signals, site improvements and bridges. Sewer & Water are projects involving pump stations, water treatment facilities, force mains, septic work, inspection services, drainage, etc.

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On the public side, Engineering projects led the way, accounting for 43 percent of all public sector bids. Educational projects were next at 26 percent followed closely by Governmental at 14 percent and General/Civil Joint Projects at 9 percent.

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Construction bids for the Retail industry accounted for 50 percent of all private sector projects that bid this from March through May. This was followed by Educational at 14 percent, Office at 13 percent and Medical at 7 percent. It should not be surprising that Educational projects made up such a larger percentage on both the public and private side. With the summer months fast approaching many school districts and universities schedule construction work during this time when the buildings are usually unoccupied or operating at reduced capacity. This leads to a larger number of bids in the spring for Educational projects in order to get contracts approved in order for the work to be completed before the start of the next school year.

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All of the information in this report was provided using Construction Data’s Commercial Construction Market Intelligence (CCMI).

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