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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The state’s six-cent gas tax increase is now in effect and the money will go directly to road work projects. The question before lawmakers is whether to use concrete or asphalt to repair and maintain Alabama’s roads.

Now that the gas tax increase is in effect, lawmakers say the debate over concrete or asphalt comes down to safety and cost.

Wednesday, the Legislative Joint Transportation Committee met to talk about roadwork in Alabama, while also seeking input from engineers.

“I think the committee got a glimpse of how do we do this better and protect the taxpayer,” said Sen. Gerald Allen (R) Tuscaloosa.

Senator Gerald Allen says there’s a lot of factors that go into whether to use concrete or asphalt.

“The life cycle is a great debate, but at the same time it’s a cost issue involved here,” said Sen. Allen.

Sen. Allen says that should be a local decision. However other lawmakers were concerned about the safety of roads and bridges.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Sen. Greg Albritton (R) Range “Because if we don’t know inspecting then we don’t know that we’re driving on.”

Cities and counties will get their share of the gas tax money in the next couple of months.

The state is will collect around $320 million annually from the gas tax increase.