Crane Report Indicates Construction Growth in Key Markets

Increases in crane activity in several major cities are sending positive signals to the construction industry.

Bradford Randall, Former Associate Editor

April 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Las Vegas skyline construction. Stock Photo

Major projects continue to break ground in key markets around the U.S. and Canada despite lingering concerns about economic uncertainty.

That was one of the key takeaways from the RLB Crane Index for the first quarter of 2023, which reported a crane count increase of 7% in 14 cities, with only two surveyed cities seeing significant decreases in crane activity.

The RLB Crane Index is seen as a key indicator of the number of fixed cranes on construction sites and gives a simplified measure of the current state of the construction industry’s workload in each location.

The crane count for commercial projects decreased 20% quarter over quarter in the report, but other key sectors saw growth, including educational construction, healthcare institutions, industrial projects and public buildings.

Residential projects made up just over half of all crane activity in the surveyed cities, while mixed-use buildings were responsible for 22% of cranes counted.

Las Vegas experienced the most significant increase with a 300% rise in crane activity since the third quarter of 2023.

The report explained the Las Vegas construction boom.

“2023 will be a big year for Las Vegas as construction on various projects will be completed, such as the Fontainebleau, the newly renovated New York New York and Circus Circus; welcoming the arrival of Formula 1 racing and the opening of Durango by Station Casino.”

Seattle also saw a significant increase in cranes with a 21% increase, representing nine cranes, since Q3 of 2022.

Other cities surveyed in the report that have seen an increase in crane activity include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Honolulu and Toronto. Numbers remained stable in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Calgary, while New York and Chicago saw a decrease in crane activity.

The number of cities seeing increased crane activity “indicates that investments are continuing to be made into our cities,” the report summarized.

The report anticipated the number of cranes to remain high through 2023.

“Despite uncertain market conditions, construction projects will continue to break ground, albeit at a cost,” the report stated.

About the Author(s)

Bradford Randall

Former Associate Editor, WOC360

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