BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Like many others around the country, PennDOT is facing its own concerns brought on by the costs of inflation.
PennDOT District Two Executive, Tom Zurat explained how inflation has marked an increase in the cost of fuel which has gone up about 100% in the last six months.
Currently, PennDOT is paying inflation prices for asphalt and diesel fuel. In June of 2020 diesel was 93 cents per gallon for contracts and now it has risen to $4.12 per gallon. For asphalt in June of 2020, it was $411 per ton and is now $692.
The inflation is also costing PennDOT millions of dollars in index adjustments. These adjustments are designed for the protection of contractors when bidding for projects which include factors such as asphalt and diesel fuel costs.
These adjustments are based on project bids previously in 2021 or earlier this year when the costs were down, but now that work is being done this summer, PennDOT is seeing an increase in those cost factors according to Zurat.
“Our district is estimated to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 million dollars ourselves in asphalt and diesel price adjustments just for construction that will be done this summer,” said Tom Zurat.
Along with the price increase for asphalt and diesel fuel, Zurat explained anything involved in the supply chain has been a struggle to get which is costing PennDOT more money.
With prices boosted, an estimated 118 million dollars worth of work could now be between 130 and 150 million dollars which could result in some work being deferred until 2023.