From the Pioneer Press: Asphalt shortage raises the price of roadwork
Not only cannot we not afford new roads because DOT revenue is down, we cannot afford them because prices are up.
Asphalt, which is made from petroleum byproducts, is seeing its material costs go up, as well as the costs of transporting the stuff.
“Tom Ravn, acting state construction engineer for MnDOT, said the asphalt supply issue affects six to eight highway projects under way around the state and could force a monthlong delay on one of them. Ravn wouldn’t say which one. He said he’s fielding calls from concerned contractors and studying the state’s options, from granting delays to possibly lowering the asphalt grade it requires, among other things.”
Lowering the grade presumably means the road will have to be repaired more frequently or replaced sooner.
Still, as the websites say:
(Grammatically if there are only two choices, concrete may be better, especially since no one has registered http://gravelisgood.com )
From the LA Times U.S. highway trust fund veers toward crisis
“As motorists cut back on their driving and buy more fuel-efficient cars, the government is taking in less money from the federal gasoline tax.
The result: The principal source of funding for highway projects will soon hit a big financial pothole. The federal highway trust fund could be in the red by $3.2 billion or more next year.”
This was not unpredictable, and the response is likely to be an increase in the gas tax at the next surface transportation authorization, which will further drive motorists from gasoline.