County officials are looking into more cost effective ways to fix damaged roads in Houston County.
“We are talking with the city and some other towns about possibly putting in an asphalt plant and producing our own asphalt.” Acting County Engineer Barkley Kirkland said.
“With atrip with the projects we got on county roads. We have 30 million dollars worth of county roads that need to be resurfaced.” Houston County Chairman Mark Culver said.
To make things worse, storms over the past month closed more than a dozen roads. Some still haven't re-opened.
“As of today there are about seven still closed and the other seven have been opened so we are down to six or seven after today that will take us about a month to get open.” Kirkland said.
These projects usually require quite a bit of asphalt.
An ingredient that continues to increase in price.
“Approximately, two to three years ago we were paying around 58 sixty dollars a ton for asphalt for surfacing. Today we are paying ninety dollars a ton. “Kirkland said.
“The price of asphalt over the last two years has gone up 50 percent.” Culver said.
However, culver says the idea of building this plant could be chiseled away if asphalt prices change.
“If market prices come down then it’s not something we really need to pursue.” Culver said.
This idea is still just that ... an idea ... a way for the county to look at money saving options for the future.
Culver says if this plan does come to fruition, they wouldn't want there to be any competition between local providers.