Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
Last month we noted that APC had been working with PennDOT, the Turnpike Commission and industry partners in hopes of restarting a number of critical, life-sustaining construction projects that had been shut down as part of the attempt to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. I’m happy to report that PennDOT last week allowed 61 such projects to resume as new social distancing procedures and other safety protocols were adopted across the Commonwealth and the nation.
This week, the Turnpike Commission green-lighted nine projects that had been on hold. Additionally, bids were opened this week on 32 PennDOT projects, and there will be a letting next Thursday, with more to come.
While things are still a long way from “normal,” the industry is welcoming the opportunity to begin addressing these critical need projects, and to demonstrate its ability to do so in a way that will protect the health and welfare of its workforce and the public. Everyone involved has worked hard to roll new precautions into the already rigorous safety training to which the industry is committed.
Nationally, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association reports that state departments of transportation across the country are working closely with the construction industry to implement a full range of safeguards against COVID-19 on the job site.
Public transportation received a boost as well. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to the coronavirus. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Trump on March 27.
And the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has asked congressional leaders for an immediate emergency injection of $50 billion to offset an estimated 30% loss in state transportation revenues over the next 18 months.
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- PennDOT said Tuesday it will get back to work on emergency and critical highway and bridge projects.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to the coronavirus.
- The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sent a letter to congressional leadership on April 6 requesting the immediate emergency injection of $49.95 billion for state departments of transportation.
- State Police say Turnpike traffic has declined by 76 percent due to the coronavirus lockdown.
- PennDOT reopened indoor facilities at five additional rest areas, bringing to 28 the number of rest areas that have reopened statewide since being shut down in response to Governor Wolf’s orders aimed at preventing the coronavirus spread.