By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gas prices are continuing to climb with Minnesota prices 16 cents higher per gallon than they were just a month ago.

Our average price is $3.69 per gallon. And as hard as that is to handle, prices around the country are even higher. In California and a number of other states consumers are paying more than $4.

But your wallet is not the only thing being hurt by the higher prices — at least one Minnesota county is cutting back on road repairs.

Just outside of Faribault, it’s not hard to see the dividing line between the roads that have been resurfaced with a special sealant and the roads that haven’t.

Roads that have been resurfaced with a sealant will last five to 10 years longer because of the work that’s been done. Other parts of the road have not been resurfaced.

“There is a negative consequence to that, more and more water gets into the road,” Dennis Luebbe of the Rice County Highway Department said.

The result is so much deterioration — the road may have to be ripped up and partially reconstructed at a cost of $250,000 per mile.

The cost of resurfacing is just $14,000 a mile. But despite the obvious savings, Rice County has to slash its resurfacing plans because of the rising cost of the resurfacing material.

That material is more expensive because of rising oil prices.

“We are going to cut 20 percent out of our program this year,” Luebbe said.

And those rough roads exact a cost on cars.

“It’s a huge cost,” Luebbe said. “I’ve seen some studies where they estimate it’s $400 a year on maintenance costs due to road conditions. So that is a cost that is hidden.”

For Rice County residents, it’s a double hit, paying at the pump and knowing their cars will take a beating on unprotected roads.

“It’s pretty bad,” Joe Lenway said. “All the roads are pretty bad in Faribault, actually.”

Jackie Meyer agreed.

“It’s pretty round, it’s tougher on vehicles,” she said.

The resurfacing product is only used in rural areas. As for repairs in busier metro roads, our milder weather this winter gave us a huge break in the pothole department. This time last year, Hennepin County had 270 pothole complaints. This year it has only eight.

Comments (11)
  1. Michael says:

    “Gas Prices Could Effect Minnesota Road Repairs”

    The proper word would have been “Affect”, not “Effect”.

    1. I Agee says:

      If the prices Effect repairs the repairs would take place.

  2. Kevin Moore-Shelby says:

    Them’s edjakated peeple writin’ headlines at WCCO. Liberal Arts Degrees with emphasis on the first word.

  3. Sketchr says:

    Really? Shouldn’t all the funds saved on snowplowing this year go directly to road repairs? Roads benefit anyone with a pulse. If you eat, you benefits from roads in MN. All this other nonsense our lawmakers propose to spend money on does not benefit everyone.

  4. Jay says:

    use proper grammar please. And you get paid for this?

  5. js says:

    The roads are no better than last year. They keep on patching the same holes several times a year wasting time and money instead of fixing the roads properly.

  6. MKIA says:

    Should have switched to cement years ago.
    Oberstar add several taxes on a gallon of gas to help pay for all those repairs?

  7. Flowerladytoo says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves is right in that headline. It’s affect, not effect.

    Here in rural Minnesota we have had some major sections of HWY 212 repaved with cement, vs some that have been repaved the more traditional way. Even though the traditional repaving was done last year, it’s already cracked and rough, while the areas with the more time consuming cement work have held up well for several years now. It pays in the long run. These temp fixes just waste money, and don’t work!

  8. John says:

    I like these people that say spend all this money that was saved on snowplowing this year be spent on road projects. Im sorry that I have to tell you that there are still 9 months to go this year. Have you people ever heard of snow falling in October – December? My goodness.

  9. ipmutt says:

    drop the stadium, fix the roads. Cut back on education waste, fix the roads. Cut welfare, fix the roads. Stop building bike paths and fix the roads. There is no problem.

  10. vergleich gas says:

    Hi, I think that I saw you visited my site thus I came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE