A surge in commercial work fueled a 21% improvement in the value of new South Carolina contracts in January, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of ENR Southeast. The overall total for the month was $618.4 million, up from last January�s $509.5 million.

According to the company, South Carolina�s nonresidential category recorded nearly $276.4 million in new contracts, more than double the amount tallied during the same period of a year ago, when it totaled $119.3 million.

The other two construction sectors experienced declines in new contracts. The value of new residential contracts fell 4% compared to last January, for a total of nearly $212.2 million. The nonbuilding category, which includes infrastructure and civil contracts, fell 23%, compared to a year ago, for a $129.9-million total.