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As Asphalt Prices Rise, Massachusetts Roads Crumble

Drivers may cringe when they pull up to the pumps this summer to fill up their cars, but highway officials are sharing the pain.

Towns across the state are likely to spend a lot more in the coming year to pave and repair public roads as the price of asphalt, which like gasoline is made from crude oil, continues to climb.

“It isn’t a pretty picture,” said Harold Brown, Bolton’s public works director. A decade ago, Brown paid about $20 for a ton of asphalt concrete, or “hot top,” as it’s known in the business.

Today, Brown pays $50.24 a ton. Because his budget is limited, Brown has to focus on repairing the busiest roads. The road in front of the average resident’s house will be repaved only once every nine years.

Boston Globe

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