We`re all painfully aware of high prices at the pump, but pretty soon you may literally start feeling it every time you get behind the wheel. You can blame high oil prices for all those pot holes. You`d never know by looking at it, but asphalt has become the new "black gold". "Gone up 50 percent what it was last year," says Wiley Calhoon. The long time construction worker makes a living laying the stuff. He says times have been tough since prices went sky high. "Asphalt has gotten so high people are opting for concrete parking lots instead," Calhoon said. Asphalt is made from sand, gravel and other substances that are bound together by a goopy substance called liquid asphalt. Its made from the remnants of oil after it is refined into gasoline and other products. Miller county judge Roy John McNatt has been working to pave many of the roads in the area, but that task is becoming more difficult. "We`re going to pave about half as many as I wanted," said McNatt. The county budgeted 250 thousand dollars for asphalt this year. Only about 50 thousand is left. "We`re watching our nickels and dimes." State officials are dealing with the same issue. Major projects have already been delayed while new bids are being re-worked. "We`re going to have to get a better handle at what prices at the pump...crude prices are going to be," insists district manager Don Donaldson. Asphalt-paving costs went up 14.2 percent between January 2005 and January 2006, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.