Construction costs are regionally variable and fluctuate over time according to a variety of economic factors (cost of raw materials, equipment, labour, etc.). Though every project should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, concrete highways have an excellent track record as a cost-effective investment.
Rigid concrete pavement outperforms flexible asphalt pavement with economic and safety benefits and has less impact on the environment. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. interstate highways are built with concrete.
In Canada, however, governments typically award highway pavement construction contracts based only on initial costs. Asphalt pavements are often selected because they are perceived to be less expensive than concrete. But planners are now beginning to recognize that tenders for road infrastructure projects should include a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) component, based on the estimated costs of a project over its entire service life. When this concept is applied to maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction and salvage value of pavements, life cycle costs are evaluated, as well as initial costs, revealing the full expense of the selected material.
Experience shows that a competitive environment will allow you to pave more kilometers for the same amount of money. Competition in market economies can also be directly linked to achieving higher quality of services or products, leading to the development of new products/technologies which would give greater selection and better products.
The greater selection typically causes lower prices, compared to what the price would be if there was no competition. Studies have shown that competition between paving industries represents the most significant opportunity for agencies looking to extend the purchasing power of their infrastructure dollars.