With the prime construction season beginning to wind down as the fourth quarter approaches, construction starts are also beginning to slow down across North America. Nonetheless, the industrial manufacturing industry looks to start some $12.7 billion worth of projects, down approximately 25% from the third quarter’s $16 billion in construction starts, but still a healthy total, according to Industrial Information Resources (www.industrialinfo.com). In addition, some $1.2 billion in industrial construction starts are projected for Mexico during the fourth quarter, while Canadian firms are slated to begin work on some $1.1 billion worth of projects.

Some of the major projects that are expected to begin construction in the coming quarter include the proposed $4 billion Dulles Metrorail corridor project in Virginia, a $1.3 billion automobile assembly plant in Mississippi, a $1.2 billion automobile assembly plant in Mexico, a $700 million automobile assembly plant retool in Ontario, Canada, and a $700 million minivan assembly plant retool in Missouri.

The Great Lakes region of the U.S. has always been one of the most active manufacturing regions in the country, with the largest concentration of operational, planned, engineered and under-construction plants in North America. Each year, more plants are constructed and begin operation in that region than anywhere else. 2007 has been no exception. During the fourth quarter of the year, this trend will continue as the region is expected to have 62 new plants open their doors and begin production, adding 7,300 jobs. Illinois and Ohio will lead the way with 13 new plants - each is expected to begin operation in the fourth quarter. Indiana will see 12 plants open, Wisconsin 10, and Michigan and Kentucky seven apiece.