An across-the-board improvement in new construction contracts, along with a surge of infrastructure projects, propelled Florida’s November total for new contracts to nearly $1.7 billion, or 35% better than a year ago, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.

Nonbuilding contracts led the way, with the month’s total of more than $700.3 million equaling more than twice that of last November, when this category tallied $330.3 million. The nonresidential market was up, too, with the latest month’s total of nearly $294.3 million representing an 8% gain over the same period of a year ago. The residential sector increased by 7% overall, recording $675.5 million in new contracts during the month.

For the year-to-date, Florida’s overall pace of new contracts is still 10% behind that of a year ago. The 2011 YTD total of roughly $20.8 billion is about $2.3 billion lower than a year ago, when the 11-month estimate was nearly $23.2 billion.

Despite the latest surge in infrastructure contracts, Florida’s nonbuilding category remains well behind last year’s pace. The current total of $6.6 billion in 2011 contracts is 24% lower than a year ago, when McGraw-Hill Construction estimated this category at more than $8.7 billion.

Nonresidential remains down, too, with its $5.4-billion year-to-date estimate equaling a 16% decline from 2010’s pace. Residential is the only positive sector to date. This category’s nearly $8.8-billion tally through November is 9% ahead of 2010’s volume of a year ago.