The overall value of new Florida construction contracts fell precipitiously in July, for a monthly total of less than $1.6 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record. The monthly total was a 60% decline from the same period of a year ago.

The biggest dropoff was in the nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure contracts. Its July total of $442.2 million was 83% lower than the nearly $2.6 billion recorded last July. The nonresidential category also dropped dramatically, declining by 39% compared to a year ago for a $352.3 million total. Residential contracts eked out a 1% gain, and totaled $773.9 million.

On a year-to-date basis, all categories are negative. Nonbuilding is the furthest behind, at 41% below last year’s pace, with about $4.2 billion in new contracts through the first seven months of 2011. Nonresidential’s $3.4 billion total through July is 25% less than a year ago, when it tallied nearly $4.6 billion. Residential is down just 2% so far in 2011, with just under $5.3 billion in new contracts awarded to date.

Overall, 2011 Florida contracts total nearly $12.9 billion through July, or 25% behind the 2010 pace of $17.1 billion