ENR Texas & Louisiana 2022 Top Starts
Year in and year out, the ENR Texas & Louisiana region—which also includes Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma—has consistently proven to be one of the more robust areas for construction in the U.S. For example, in our previous Top Starts ranking of a year ago—of projects that started in 2021—ENR reported that the top 25 projects totaled approximately $22 billion.
Thanks to a number of factors, including a surge in federal funding, along with a similar spurt in energy projects—including a range of contracts from LNG facilities to a spreading crop of solar farms—this year’s Texas & Louisiana Top Starts ranking reaches new levels of construction activity.
Nearly doubling last year’s total, the top 25 in the Top Starts ranking of 2022 projects represents nearly $42 billion in overall cost. The ranking shows the impact of other project types, including manufacturing, tech, highways and hospitals.
Despite the economic headwinds of inflation and unease related to the banking system, contractors contacted by ENR Texas & Louisiana see momentum continuing.
“There is still a lot of energy around trying to get deals done,” says Jason Weeks, regional vice president with Brasfield & Gorrie, Dallas. Still, there are issues.
“Upstream of contractors, we see owners wrestling with fewer debt providers seeking to deploy capital in construction, along with higher interest rates,” Weeks says, adding, “that being said, projects that are less commoditized in nature are still getting started.”
Offering a similar sentiment is John Marshall, chief revenue officer with Satterfield & Pontikes.
“The market still holds a lot of opportunity,” he says. “Overall project pursuits are fairly robust. Project selection as well as planning and strong preconstruction are critical.”
Wadley Regional Medical Center Replacement Hospital, being built by Robins & Morton, was 34th on this year’s ranking.
Rendering courtesy Robins & Morton
Also, all contractors are continuing to face disruptions in the material and equipment supply chains. Jeff Allen, vice president and construction group leader in Burns & McDonnell’s Dallas office reports that the company is still seeing “a lot of volatility” related to the procurement of electrical equipment and steel products and that “forecasts are much more scrambled and completion dates are a little bit less reliable than what they were a few years ago.”
Marshall, with S&P, concurs, saying that “volatility in pricing, in materials and in labor is still very real, and while the supply chain is somewhat better, it is far from healed.”
Across the region, numerous metropolitan markets saw an increase in construction project starts during 2022, but, as reflected in this year’s ranking, the Texas market appears to be at another level.
“The Austin market remains very hot as Austin and the surrounding area continue to grow at a rapid pace,” Brasfield & Gorrie’s Weeks says, adding that Dallas “continues to see market diversity.”
About the Ranking
ENR Texas & Louisiana’s annual Top Starts ranking, which details the highest-value projects to break ground in the past year, shows projects and industry sectors that are defining the region of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Data is sourced from Dodge Construction Network and from firms that provided information about their largest contracts to start construction in 2022. The overall estimated project cost is included, as are project team members and construction start and end dates, where available.