Since 2005, concrete prices have risen 4% but liquid asphalt prices have gone up 12% annually. As a result, says the Portland Cement Association (PCA), escalator clauses — an adjustment provision that allows contractors to adjust price based on a fluctuation in liquid asphalt cost — have cost state DOTs $1.1 billion.

Concrete's initial cost advantage increased to $78,500 in 2010 and $192,700 in 2011 per 1-mile “standard” two-lane roadway. Using Wisconsin DOT software, PCA estimates that by 2015 concrete's initial bid cost will be $266,185.