All three of Florida’s construction categories improved in April, combining for a 17% overall gain in the value of new contracts, compared to a year ago, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. In total, Florida contractors gained nearly $2.4 billion in new business during the month.

The nonbuilding sector, which includes infrastructure projects, jumped 27% and was the largest category for new work in April, with just over $1 billion in new contracts moving forward.

At roughly half the volume, Florida’s nonresidential market generated an estimated $503.1 million in new contracts during April, for a 19% gain over the same period of a year ago. Residential contracts also reflected increased activity, bumping up 7% for a $880.2-million total.

Through April, McGraw-Hill Construction estimates new Florida construction contracts at approximately $9.3 billion, or 27% better than the nearly $7.4 billion recorded through April of 2011.

All three sectors are well ahead of 2011’s early pace so far.

Most improved is the nonresidential market, which has jumped 34% so far in 2012, delivering nearly $2.3 billion in new contracts. With just over $3.6 billion in projects started so far this year, the residential sector is Florida’s largest generator of new contracts, according to McGraw-Hill, with a 26% gain over last year.

Close behind is the nonbuilding category. Its roughly $3.4-billion tally is 24% ahead of 2011’s early pace.