While the overall value of new Georgia contracts signed in August for future construction declined by 16% compared to the same period of a year ago, there was a significant bright spot during the month as a result of federal stimulus funding. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction, the total value of new contracts signed during the month equaled roughly $1.1 billion, down from the $1.3 billion of the previous August.

The state’s nonbuilding category—which includes roads, bridges and other infrastructure work—was an estimated 38% higher than the same period of a year ago, totaling approximately $297.7 million. That compared to last year’s $215.9-million figure for this category.

The other two construction categories continued their dismal declines, however. The nonresidential sector fell the most during August, declining 31% compared to a year ago for a $488.2-million total. The residential sector fell by 20% compared to last August, registering almost $317.9 million in new contracts during the month.

For the year to date, the value of Georgia’s new contracts is now approximately 45% behind the first eight months of 2008, with roughly $7.1 billion in new contracts so far. That compares to the nearly $13 billion that the state had recorded during the same time period of a year ago.

All three construction categories are down compared to 2008 levels by considerable margins. Residential remains the furthest behind. Its $2.1-billion total so far is about 53% lower than the $4.5 billion this sector generated through August of 2008. Despite the strong uptick this month, the nonbuilding market is still 46% behind last year’s pace, with a roughly $1.4-billion. The nonresidential sector is now 39% behind the 2008 pace, with a nearly $3.6-billion total.