NCDOT Eying Surety Bonds for Road Repairs as Fracking Operations Gear Up

AASHTO Journal, 5 December 2014

ncdotlogo.jpgOfficials from North Carolina’s Department of Transportation are telling state lawmakers they plan to require surety bonds of $100,000 per mile to repair secondary roads used by heavy truck operations once shale gas fracking operations commence in a few months, the News & Observer news site reports.

The story said Brandon Jones, an NCDOT division maintenance engineer, told lawmakers the proposed bonds were not onerous to the fracking operations and had not generated industry complaints. Maintenance agreements that include the bonds would cover repairs for secondary roads not designed for heavy truck traffic.

Although such bonds could amount to millions of dollars per site to cover trucks loaded with fracking sand, other materials and construction equipment, the report said Jones told them that rebuilding a roadway costs more than $300,000 per mile.

NCDOT officials said such road-wear bonds are common in other states where shale gas fracking is already under way.

To help repair rural bridges that now see only a few truck trips a month but could soon see 600 trucks in that time, the agency officials propose surety bonds of $360 per square foot of bridge. That compares with costs of more than $600 per square foot to rebuild a bridge, the story said.

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