The oil production slowdown is causing problems for the oil industry and has caused some states to cut their budgets. However, aside from being a good thing for the traveling public, North Dakota is seeing an increase in roadwork from the lower oil prices, KX News reports.
“We’re getting more work done for the dollar because of the fact the cost for oil has gone down,” Bradley Ballweber, Northern Improvements Co., told the news agency, adding that though oil only accounts for 6 percent of the total asphalt mix, it’s about half of the cost, so they’re paying less to pave the roads.
“A job that may have cost a million dollars a year ago, because the price of asphalt is lower, that work is probably being done for $900,000 or 10 percent less, so the dollar is stretching a little further,” Ballweber told the news agency, adding that they’ve had more projects to work on this summer because of the lower price of asphalt, which happened at just the right time. “…we’re finally, maybe, catching up a little bit.”
Heavy truck traffic associated with the oil boom has taken a toll on western North Dakota roads, Ballweber told the news agency. “It was just trying to maintain what was out there so that the roads were serviceable. I do think that this year, we are catching up somewhat with that. It may take a few years to catch up with the need, and hopefully we will have the funds to do that.”
According to the report, a spokesperson with the North Dakota Department of Transportation said about $80 million in project costs has been saved because of cheaper asphalt.