A huge boost in the nonbuilding sector propelled the value of North Carolina’s June construction starts total to an estimated $2.2 billion, for a 98% improvement over the same period of a year ago, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of ENR Southeast.

New nonbuilding contracts—which include infrastructure projects—totaled more than $1.1 billion in June, or nearly $1 billion higher than last June’s total of $175.2 million.

Nonresidential contracts also got started at an increased pace in June, with this category registering $461.6 million in new projects, for a 28% improvement over a year ago. New residential contracts were flat, totaling $557.4 million.

Despite June’s surge, North Carolina’s overall year-to-date total remains negative. McGraw-Hill Construction estimates 2011 new contracts at slightly more than $6.9 billion, or 8% lower than the same period of a year ago.

On a year-to-date basis, nonbuilding is the only positive sector. Its $2 billion total through June represents a 27% improvement over the same pace of a year ago. Nonresidential construction starts are 21% lower than last year, with about $2.1 billion in new contracts so far this year. North Carolina’s residential market is 14% lower than 2010’s pace, with an estimated $2.8 billion in new contracts.