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According to analysis by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, a 22% increase in the cost of highway construction materials could erode the impact of the new federal highway bill. Photo: American Concrete Pavement Association

The cost of highway construction materials has increased by 22% in the past two years, according to a recent association analysis. According to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the increase in the cost of materials used for highway and street construction is eroding the impact of the new federal highway bill and will likely limit the ability of the states to meet growing transportation needs.

In 2005 alone, highway contractors paid 13% more for materials over the previous year, ARTBA's analysis found. By contrast, the overall rate of inflation for 2005, as measured by the consumer price index, was just 3.4%. Iron and steel rose more than 60% in the two-year period; asphalt paving mixtures rose 10%; construction sand, gravel and crushed stone rose 11%; and ready-mix concrete went up 18%.

For more information or to view the full report, visit www.artba.org.