By Bob Beck
Asphalt prices cut into road repair –
Skyrocketing prices for crude oil are also increasing the cost for building roads and highways. Officials say asphalt prices have been increasing for a few years, but now are at their highest levels. In Wyoming, the Department of Transportation is well aware of the problem. Budget Analyst Kevin Hibbard says asphalt costs have cut into their budget.
The last 3 years the department of transportation has experienced a 24 percent increase per year in our highway improvement program. We are looking at about a 50-million dollar impact per year.
The legislature has given the department more money for roads, but Hibbard says the rising costs have led to cutbacks on many projects. While they have received more money from the legislature, Hibbard says the rising costs mean that they have had to significantly cut back on road projects. Next week legislators will discuss some possible solutions to the problem.