Rising costs threaten road repaving projects in Butler County

Many roads are scheduled to be repaved this year. Some won’t be.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 9:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A spike in road paving costs is having an impact on the repaving efforts of local governments across the nation. Butler County is no exception.

Beissinger Road in Hamilton is one of the roads that is getting repaved. Others will not due to rising prices.

“It was surprising to the point of seeing asphault itself jump 40 percent,” said Butler County Engineer Gregory Wilkins.

Wilkins plans and budgets road repaving projects for the country. He says when the county’s 2022 budget was crafted last year, they had no idea the cost of raw materials would impact their main paving contract so much.

The contract to repave all the roads for which Butler County itself is responsible will come out at around $9 million, or 20 percent above what was budgeted. Wilkins says the county has been able to cover the difference.

“It’s out of our rainy day fund, and it’s some of our carryover to make that up,” he said. “But it’s a significant amount over all the contracts.”

But the county’s townships are also individually responsible for their own projects, and not all of them have a rainy day fund sufficient to cover the gap.

Oxford Township, for example, tells FOX19 they’re cutting roads from their repaving plan in 2022 because of cost increases.

“That’s what happens,” Wilkins said. “They start dropping roads off the resurfacing contract to make it work.”

Resident Joe Squance lives on one of those roads that won’t be repaved.

“You can see it’s cracked,” Squance said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of potholes near the curb and the gutter.”

Wilkins says if prices don’t stabilize, it will make a big impact on future projects.

“Every road is resurfaced once every 17 years,” he said. “What happens when the cost goes up and you can’t make that [is it pushes repaving out] to once every 20 or once every 25 years.”

Butler County will reevaluate the cost of paving at the end of the summer. If the costs remain high, 2023 projects could be in jeopardy.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.