The highway and bridge markets are beginning to show signs of recovery, according to the latest ARTBA quarterly market conditions survey, but deteriorating conditions in the airport market prevented any signs of overall market recovery in the survey results. Regardless, the transportation construction market continues to show signs of steady improvement after bottoming out in first quarter 2003. The recent sharp increase in steel prices is a concern for many contractors-the net rising index for the cost of materials jumped dramatically in all markets. Comments from survey participants indicated they are deeply concerned about possible steel shortages and “skyrocketing” prices. In the bridge market, 41 percent of survey respondents indicated they had experienced construction material shortages in first quarter of 2004.