High Oil Prices Drive Up Cost of Paving Projects

High Oil Prices Drive Up Cost of Paving Projects

By Rodger Rowles / Published March 2022

Photo by iStockphoto.com/Petmal

Increases tied to changes for liquid asphalt, which is a key component in blacktop, are up more than 60 percent from four years ago (2017). The price has increased from $330 to $530 a liquid ton. Other factors such as the price of stone, the cost of transportation, and workers’ wages are affecting the rising paving costs.

     Inflation, reserve studies, budgets, replacement costs, and the sticker shock of your latest paving bid has now become the topic of everyone’s conversation. The HOA road in front of my house is a little over a half mile long and 20 ft. wide with concrete gutter curbs. If we milled and paved this road in 2017, the cost would have been $90,000. The same job today is $140,000!

     According to a survey in CAI’s Community Voice, 

     More than three-quarters felt it was critical that their association have adequate reserves in the event of a major infrastructure failure or construction need. Nearly half (40 percent) of those surveyed considered deteriorating infrastructure as a top-ranked concern. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of survey respondents indicated that maintaining property values was of primary importance. About half of the respondents felt their associations have adequate reserves funds on hand, just as many respondents considered their communities’ reserve funds inadequate to address any unplanned component repair or replacement.

     Your HOA board and property managers are now looking at the asphalt paving that may be showing signs of deterioration. Your association should be thinking of a serious increase in reserves and start a cost-effective asphalt maintenance program to extend the life of the pavement. This will give more time to accumulate additional reserve funds and reduce the possibility of an assessment for paving. The first thought may be to “get a price for seal coating,” but this could be the least economical decision!

     A well-designed asphalt maintenance program using the right product at the right time is the key to giving your association the best return on investment. You now have numerous choices to consider. One is an emulsion seal coat, which only coats the surface and provides short-term protection and sometimes even shorter aesthetics. There are hard resurfacing products that have a longer wear life and aesthetics. However, these are costly and are recommended for pavements only two to three years old. These surface treatments may cover it up, but they can’t fix it.

Photo by iStockphoto.com/eyjafjallajokull

     Another concern is the asphalt industry using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). The costs for this can be up 40 percent in Florida and other parts of the country. The high amount of RAP that is used can result in the mix being too dry or stiff and too difficult to compact. This can result in a premature failure and a new overlay only having a five- to seven-year lifecycle. Proper use of a rejuvenator can result in extending the life of the pavement, which contains the higher percentage of RAP in the hot mix asphalt (HMA).

     CPR rejuvenator (eco-friendly, zero parts per million VOC) has proven to be the most cost effective and successful product that I have used in my asphalt maintenance business. Be aware that all rejuvenators in today’s market are not the same based on proprietary blends, ingredients, composition, and type of solvents.

     The bottom line is that asphalt deterioration is a chemical as well as a physical process. Asphalt distress occurs because the asphalt cement (glue) that binds the pavement together ages (hardens) with time due to the oxidation process. CPR rejuvenator penetrates the pavement and reverses oxidation. CPR rejuvenator has been proven to extend the pavement life by five years with each application. The PRT-Group is focused on education for owners and property managers, so they understand the benefits of long-term pavement maintenance as well as how to maximize their investment.

Rodger Rowles


     For more information on test results, and a list of certified Contractors, visit our website at PRT-Group.com. Rodger Rowles is PRT-Group’s president and can be reached at (484) 557-0353.