Material cost increase from 1998 to 2007
12-yard truck 74% ↑
Diesel fuel 304% ↑
Gasoline 313% ↑
Gravel 20% ↑
Asphalt 48% ↑
Guardrail/hardware 113% ↑
Plow blades 89% ↑
U-Channel sign post 95% ↑
Traffic signal cable 140% ↑
Source: Road Commission for Oakland Co.
Maintenance cost increase from ’05 to ’07
Salt 32% ↑
Sand 39% ↑
Winter plow truck 15% ↑
Plow blades 22% ↑
Guardrail 125% ↑
Aluminum sign blank 12% ↑
Sign posts 39% – 55% ↑
Calcium chloride 17% ↑
Herbicides – broadleaf 48% ↑
Herbicides – glyphosate 89% ↑
Adopt-A-Highway bags 58% ↑
Source: MDOT

As road funding revenues continue to decline, the cost of the materials and equipment we use continue to rise, such as salt, sand, asphalt, gravel, plow trucks and even sign posts.

In addition, some of the vendors we buy materials from are adding a fuel surcharge for every delivery they make. That means that we are not only paying more to purchase them, we’re also paying more to have those items delivered.

The increase in cost would not be as significant if road funding revenues were increasing at the same rate; however, they are not increasing, they are declining.

Reduced funding levels and skyrocketing costs have made it difficult for us and many other road agencies to undertake large construction or reconstruction projects without federal aid.

The illustration below shows that the Consumer Price Index has been outpaced by materials cost since 2005. Meanwhile, MTF revenue is decreasing.

Source: County Roads Association of Michigan (CRAM)