MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Now that Alabama’s 6-cent gas tax is now in effect, lawmakers say the debate over concrete or asphalt comes down to safety and cost.

On 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,” Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, said.

Allen said there’s a lot of factors that go in weather to use concrete or asphalt.

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

Allen said that should be a local decision. However, other lawmakers are concerned about the safety of roads and bridges.

“It’s a safety issue because if we don’t know what we are inspecting or how we are inspecting, we don’t know that we’re driving on,” Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, said.

Cities and counties will get their share of the gas tax money in the next couple of months. The state will collect around $320 million annually from the gas tax increase.