What kind of spending is expected in Alaska’s construction industry this year?

Projects in the oil and gas industry and in national defence will be the main driving forces behind increased spending in Alaska’s construction industry this year. (iStock)
Construction industry spending in Alaska is projected to increase by 10% this year compared to 2018. If the forecast holds true, it will be the second year in a row for growth.

The increase is due, in large part, to projects in the oil and gas industry and national defense spending.

Scott Goldsmith, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, put together a construction industry forecast earlier this year, taking into account the 7.1 magnitude earthquake last November.

Interview Highlights

Earthquake-related spending: “The overall amount, it’s hard to estimate, but I put it at about $200 million, which is just a couple percent of the total. In the big picture it’s not a whole lot.”

Major projects: “A couple of military-related construction projects in the greater Fairbanks area. One is associated with the new introduction of the F-35 fighter jets at the Eielson Air Force Base. The development of the infrastructure required for that is called a beddown. And that’s about a $500 million federal investment… and this is the biggest year for construction spending for that facility.”

State government spending: “In years past, that has been a pretty significant contributor to the construction spending budget. And that has been tapering off for several years because the state just doesn’t have a lot of general fund money to spend on capital projects. Looking forward, that’s going to be one of the weakest components of construction spending and construction budgets in the coming years.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s long-term neglect of Arctic must stop says Senate report, CBC News

Finland: Authorities in Arctic Finland plan zones for controversial rail line, Yle News

Norway: Arctic Norway to get advanced EV charging network, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia unveils major seaport project for Arctic LNG, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Alaska Senate sends budget to governor without Permanent Fund Dividends, Alaska Public Media

Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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