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DOT faces continued construction inflation

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The state Department of Transportation has had to change how it approaches road projects -- because of construction inflation.

DOT Director of Transportation Programs Bob Fode says between 2001 and May 2008, construction costs have jumped 63 percent. He says since 2005, $130-million in road projects have had to be delayed. And Fode says DOT has been using some different techniques in preventive maintenance of existing highways.

"Those are shorter-term projects," said Fode. "We no longer build projects for 30 years, using concrete, or 20 years with asphalt. Now when we talk about pavement preservation, we talk about seal coats that are a three to five year fix. We talk about a thin lift overlay, which is a five to ten year fix."

Fode says it affected the Highway Two four-laning project.

"We started paving US 2 shoulders while four laning it, and then we went to gravel shoulders, to try to save some costs," said Fode.

Fode says the Department is doing what it can to keep the highways safe.