The volume of Georgia's October construction contract activity soared in October, as the state recorded nearly $2.6 billion in new contracts during the month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of ENR. The surge was largely the result of the company's reporting of Southern Co.'s $1.5-billion Plant Vogtle nuclear power project. Georgia's latest monthly contracts total was well over twice that of last October’s estimate, which was $909.4 million.

The impact of the Vogtle project was reflected in the nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure and energy projects, which recorded more than $1.6 billion in new contracts. That number compared favorably to last October’s $263.3-million total, and more than doubled this construction category’s year-to-date total through September, which had been less than $1.2 billion.

Still, the nonbuilding sector wasn't the only category with positive gains for the month. The nonresidential category’s $668.2-million tally represented roughly twice the volume of last October, when the state recorded $324.5 million in new commercial work.  Meanwhile, residential contracts tallied $272.2 million in October, or 15% lower than a year ago.

The latest totals pushed the state’s year-to-date totals well into positive territory. The nonresidential construction category now totals $4.6 billion, or 10% better than the first 10 months of 2010. Residential contracts total $3.1 billion, or 5% better than the same period of a year ago. Nonbuilding work is now pegged at $2.8 billion, or 33% better than last year’s pace.

Overall, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates Georgia’s 2011 contracts at $10.5 billion through October, or 14% better than a year ago.