According to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record, the pace of new Georgia construction contracts accelerated in August, with the state experiencing an 18% gain in new work. The gain resulted in an estimated $874.8 million in new contracts during the month.

The biggest gains came in the nonresidential category, which saw a 52% improvement for an August total of $426.9 million. Residential work also improved, with contracts totaling $313.8 million for the month, a 9% increase. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure work, declined by 22%, however, delivering an estimated $134.2 million in new contracts.

On a year-to-date basis, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates the pace of 2011 contracts to be 7% behind last year’s volume, with slightly more than $7 billion in new work recorded so far.

Through August, the nonbuilding category is the only negative. However, this work type is 40% behind 2010’s pace, with nearly $1.1 billion in new contracts to date. The residential category is 7% ahead of last year’s pace, with nearly $2.6 billion in new contracts so far. The nonresidential category has so far eked out a 1% gain over last year, and is estimated at nearly $3.4 billion through August.