As Vicki Vaughn reports for the Houston Chronicle, Eagle Ford roads are in rough shape because of the oil boom. DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler says that it could be $70 million over the course of the oil boom just to repair and maintain his county’s roads alone, not to mention other counties.
It takes “hundreds of trips,” writes Vaughn, to get just one well site done. There’s hauling equipment, hauling water, hauling sand. These big rigs are contributing to traffic congestion and truck accidents, in addition to road deterioration.
According to a representative of one road-construction firm, a ‘Band-Aid’ fix can mean $100,000 per mile, and an additional $40,000 every so often just to keep it maintained.
Thus, we have significant costs in terms of road damage, congestion and accidents because of this Eagle Ford Shale oil boom. We’re not saying that the oil boom is bad. It has generated scores of jobs for oil and gas workers, for instance, who enjoy high wages while the boom lasts.
But the road problem could be characterized as one major hidden cost to what is otherwise a good thing.
Says one county commissioner: “We have a lot of traffic, and it’s going to get worse.”