For the past few years, the oil booms in North Dakota and southern Texas have brought in a lot of money wherever oil could be drawn out. At the same time, the booms have taken their toll on amenities and infrastructure, the latter now the cause of slowing the boom down.
Bloomberg reports both states are increasing or seeking to increase their road maintenance and construction budgets as the literal weight of tanker truck upon tanker truck crushes current roads underfoot, slowing down oil production along with weather and exhausted wells.
North Dakota’s transportation department has boosted their budget to $800 million per year, $550 million more than the budget in 2007, while Texas’ department is crossing their fingers residents will vote yes to use $1.4 billion from the state’s oil-funded rainy day fund to go towards highway work instead. The legislature itself gave the department $225 million, with another $225 to the counties most affected by heavy truck traffic.
Aside from hindering oil production, the crumbling roads also bring more accidents — from tankers becoming stuck, to increases in fatalities — and add difficulties for other vehicles attempting to navigate what had once been a less-traveled path.