Fuel Cost May Affect Construction Projects - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Gia Hill Reports

Fuel Cost May Affect Construction Projects

April 25, 2006 -- 5:35 PM CST


PARAGOULD, AR -- Driving through construction zones along the highway is nothing new, but the cost to take on the construction projects has increased dramatically.

Joe Barnett of the Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department said that rising fuel prices have affected the department’s business, as well as the contractors who work for him.

"It affects our contractors tremendously because they're paying more for fuel to accomplish work that already has prices established," he said.  

The price of doing construction work has increased 30 percent in the last two years, but that hasn't put a halt on the 50-something projects that are already in place in Region 8. 

Although gas prices are a hot button issue right now, Barnett said that the increase in fuel cost won't affect projects that have already started, but it will affect those other projects in the future.

"If the revenue comes in, hopefully we'll be able to do those…if it doesn't, then we'll slow down that rate that we do those," said Barnett.  "We're not at a point where we've said, 'this project's going to be delayed or that project's going to be delayed.'"

No projects have been delayed as of yet, and Barnett hopes to keep it that way.

"We're trying to drive less miles...we're trying to buy equipment that's more fuel efficient...we're looking for alternative construction techniques that would require less petroleum base products," he said.

The increased gas prices have affected everyone and everything, even the highways thatpeople drive on.


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