High gas prices are not only hurting everyday drivers at the pump—it’s also having an impact on the roads.
The high cost of gas, along with other issues like inflation and a lack of labor, means Michigan’s road projects are going up in price.
The projects already underway are fully funded but bids are usually accepted ahead of time. That means planning for the years to come is getting tricky.
Edward Hill lives near Orchard Lake and 13 Mile Road where northbound Orchard Lake is closed.
He worries not only about how high gas prices will impact his wallet but the impact of future projects like the one on his street.
“As far as funding the roads, I know they are trying to be strategic in finding ways to pay for roads. They have been working it for years,” he said.
Craig Bryson of the Road Commission of Oakland County says a 10 to 30 percent increase in materials is adding millions of additional dollars to future road projects. Not to mention, the fuel budget is adding to the pain of budgeting.
“We are estimating right now just for our fuel use, $1.2 million more next year, which in other terms is the equivalent of doing 3 and a half miles of road resurfacing that we won’t be able to do next week,” he said.
The Michigan Department of Transportation says the higher costs will be taken into account when planning future projects.
They also say time will tell on whether or not these increased prices will mean fewer projects in the future.
“Ultimately it means that as these prices increase, and state and local budgets are what they are. It means that we will be buying, you know, you’ll be building less due to those inflationary costs,” Executive Vice President of MITA Rob Coppersmith said.
MDOT says the largest factor driving up costs has been a long history of neglect to long-term fixes.
In 2010, the average cost of a road project was $1.4 million. This year, the average is $3.2 million.
This article originally appeared in WXYZ. For more, click here.