With construction costs soaring, the village is eliminating planned work on numerous streets. Oak Park is cutting out water and sewer repairs on what amounts to three blocks. It will also hold off on resurfacing six blocks and spot-patching along Garfield Street.

Village Engineer Jim Budrick said most years, costs rise from 1 to 2 percent. But in 2008, the village is seeing a 30-percent jump because of increases for labor, fuel, and asphalt. The cost to grind up and resurface a street jumped 1 percent from 2006 to 2007, and then leaped 56 percent in 2008. The cost for new asphalt and curbs has jumped 30 percent over the past two years.

Budrick is considering bidding out for two or three years of road work at a time, rather than just one as Oak Park currently does. That would lock the village in at a certain rate.

The village also could look at brick or concrete streets. Asphalt lasts 20 years, concrete 40, and brick 100. Concrete costs have remained stable while asphalt has surged.

If street costs continue to jump, the village may have to increase its gas, sales or water and sewer taxes to pay for the repairs, Budrick said.

“I just hope the oil prices stabilize because I don’t know how much longer we could sustain these increases.”

2008 street repairs (including cuts)

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