By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
Many state transportation departments have accelerated road and bridge projects due to substantially reduced work-zone traffic volumes from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. But there’s also growing concern that millions of dollars in fuel-tax revenue is disappearing along with the cars and trucks, ENR reported in an April 23 story that quoted ARTBA General Counsel Rich Juliano.
State DOTs say fewer motorists allows them to undertake many projects that, in normal traffic conditions, would create or exacerbate congestion problems and present work zone risks for construction workers. Longer work windows allowed by the pandemic also help contractors incorporate health and safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and more frequent disinfecting of equipment.
“These measures can affect contractors’ efficiency on these projects, but the trade-off is that they’re keeping people employed and improving infrastructure to help the economy rebound,” Juliano told ENR.
Juliano, working with ARTBA’s Council of State Executives and other industry sources, has compiled 33 reports on state-by-state impacts from the pandemic on transportation projects. The regularly updated reports are available in the Members Only section of artba.org.