“We had programmed amounts of $782.6 million in the July through the June lettings, and project costs…came in at 718.2 million,” Tebben says. That was around $300,000 dollars more than the amount of projected surplus in May. Tebben says a variety of factors helped saved money on the road construction.
“We had some projects that we had more competition than we expected — which is a good thing. So, we had good bids and good competition, and our steel prices we found were less than we thought they would be,” according to Tebben. Warmer weather spurred construction and in some cases competition for construction jobs. “The weather can play a role in it, it largely depends on the availability of contractors to do the work and what the global market is for construction materials — portland cement, asphalt and steel are the three of the big ones. And fuel prices,” Tebben says. “It’s a combination of many things.”
The money now carries over to the next fiscal year. He says the funds will be used for next year’s 5-year transportation construction program. Tebben says the surplus this year is about average over the last several years, although there was a deficit in the previous year.