The high price of fuel and paving materials is forcing the
state of Maine to cut back on road work this summer.
David Cole, the head of the Maine Department of
Transportation, said the cost of asphalt has more than doubled in the past
year. Asphalt is a petroleum derivative.
Higher prices for asphalt results in fewer projects being
complete and in some cases lower grade treatments “that may only last seven to
eight years instead of one that would last 12 to 15 years,” Cole told the Bangor Daily News.
The rising costs of fuel and construction led the Maine DOT
last fall to defer one-fifth of all the projects it had proposed for the
current two-year budget cycle, which represented a total of $130 million in
work throughout the state.
The cutback took less of a bite this year when state
lawmakers approved a $15 million supplemental appropriation and opted to “re-engineer” several of the projects to reduce costs, the Daily News reported.
Cole said existing contracts were not deferred. Projects
specifically required by federal legislation also were not disrupted.