Nov. 10, 2020 – Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, helmed the organization’s 82nd Annual Dodge Construction Outlook Conference, held virtually. He is calling for total construction to take a sharp 14% drop in 2020, with a 4% rise in 2021. He is calling for a total investment of $771 billion in 2021. Branch is predicting highway and bridge starts to make modest gains in 2020 and 2021. His projection of $75 billion in total investment for 2021 would be the second largest yearly total over the past 15 years. Environmental and public works starts will fall 7% in 2020 and increase 1% in 2021, Branch said. That category includes dams/reservoirs, water supply systems and sewage and waste. Overall, U.S. nonbuilding starts are expected to drop 18% in 2020, and then rise 7% in 2021.