Wyoming Department of Transportation officials say they’ll focus more on maintaining good roads in the coming years. Less focus, however, will be placed on bad roads.

WYDOT held its annual State Transportation Improvement Program presentation for District 2 the agency’s Casper office on Wednesday night.

During the presentation, WYDOT officials discussed the agency’s nearly $590 million budget for 2013 and looked at specific focus projects for the next six years throughout District 2's central, southcentral and southeastern Wyoming footprint.

Lowell Fleenor, a WYDOT district engineer, says the decision to focus on pavement preservation instead of transportation improvement is driven solely by economics.

"At the root of that, I guess, really, is the cost and escalation - about six to eight years ago, there was extreme inflation in the cost of roadway oils and materials," Fleenor said. "I guess the funding really hasn't kept pace with that."

Fleenor says Casper residents will notice several road projects over the next six years, including the completion of Wyoming Highway 220 and the completion of the West Belt Loop which will connect WYO 220 to US 20/26.

WYDOT also plans to reconstruct the US 20/26 spur road.

WYDOT estimates that it will spend $278 million toward construction projects in 2013.

Fleenor says, this year, WYDOT expects to receive about $3.9 million from the increased fuel tax that will take effect on Monday. WYDOT expects to receive about $47 million from the increased fuel tax in the next fiscal year.