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Commercial construction in four northern Utah counties soared in 1991, but the industry was sluggish in other areas of the state, a new study shows.

Box Elder, Morgan, Weber and northern Davis counties saw commercial construction rise 50 percent in value from 1990 to $54 million, the University of Utah Bureau of Economic and Business Research.However, the bureau's Utah Construction Report also noted a 17 percent drop for the state as a whole. Utah had about $350 million in commercial construction last year.

Research analyst Austin Sargent said the building boom in the four counties came as a shock.

Northern Utah's residential building also was up, rising 22 percent in value to $127 million as the number of units increased 13 percent to 1,429. Statewide residential construction increased 34 percent to $779 million.

Total construction in the region - including additions, alterations and repairs - was up 25 percent to $207 million. Construction statewide was up a marginal 5 percent to $1.3 billion.

In Davis County, the value of non-residential construction soared 113 percent to $26 million. Non-residential construction in Box Elder was also up 125 percent to $7 million.

Weber County was the only one of the four counties that experienced any drop in either type of construction with non-residential building falling 1.6 percent to $20 million.