High building supply costs delay road projects - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

High building supply costs delay road projects

April 10, 2006

Valdosta - The streets of Valdosta are buzzing with road construction.  "We'll have to continue to make traffic improvements as our community grows," said Von Shipman, Traffic Engineer.

And those improvements are costing the city big money. "Currently a project that would normally cost a million dollars would now cost between 1.3 and 1.5 million dollars," said Shipman.

Reconstruction from the hurricanes combined the soaring fuel costs has sent building supply prices through the roof. Everything from concrete to asphalt, and almost any other component used in road construction has nearly doubled in price. "When concrete prices rise from $60 a cubic yard to $85 a cubic yard, it has a dramatic impact on our working budget," said Shipman.

Valdosta Traffic Engineer Von Shipman hasn't been forced to delay any projects yet, but if the prices keep climbing, he'll likely have to. "Our SPLOST allocation may have to be revised to reflect the changes in construction costs and we may have to deadly projects into future years," said Shipman.

The increase is building costs is also affecting simple maintenance projects around town, like repairing cracked sidewalks.  "We have to spend a lot of money each year to maintain what we have and with cost rising in those areas, it means we'll have to ask for money in next years budget to do what we normally do with less," said Shipman.

And with this year's hurricane season looming just around the corner, they may not be getting relief anytime soon.

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