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Statement to Construction Industry Partners Regarding COVID 19 Response - 3/25/2020

TO:  The Ohio Contracting Community

FROM: Lloyd V. MacAdam. P.E., P.S. Chief Engineer, Assistant Director of Transportation Policy

SUBJECT: Statement to Construction Industry Partners Regarding COVID 19 Response

DATE:    March 25th, 2020

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has heard from many of our partners in the construction industry regarding the uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak.  As you know, at the direction of Governor DeWine, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Department of Health issued a  “Stay at Home” order on March 22nd 2020, to be effective at 11:59 pm on March 23rd.  

Since the beginning, Governor DeWine has maintained that transportation infrastructure is essential to our economy during this time, as well as during the recovery that will surely follow.  As a result, Section 9 of the order issued by Dr. Acton provides an exception for Essential Infrastructure.  It specifically mentions roads, highways, railroads and public transportation.  As such, ODOT remains committed to the timely delivery and adequate staffing our construction projects.  

To date, ODOT has issued three notices to the industry to address our COVID 19 response as it relates to the administration of our Capital Construction Program.  The most recent of these notices was sent to the industry on 3/24/2020.  This information was also sent to the  leadership of all 12 of our ODOT districts as guidance for working with our industry partners during this unprecedented time.

As you are aware, this situation has resulted in significant impacts to our economy.  Many employeers have had to make the difficult decision to lay employees off.  We we have seen a substantial increase in people working from home.  The net effect will be certianly be a significant decrease in revenue generated from the Motor Fuel Tax.  As a result yesterday, ODOT made the difficult, yet necessary decision to defer the following projects from our FY 2020 Major New Construction Program to the first two quarters of FY 2021.

  • FRA-70/71-12.68/14.86 (Proj. 4R)
  • HAM IR 74 18.01 (Phase 5B)

We will continue to monitor revenue projections and will make adjustments as necessary.

The health and safety of our employees and that of our industry partners is at this time and always at the forefront of our minds.  While ODOT will not issue any specific guidance related to the current COVID 19/Coronavirus outbreak, we encourage the industry to follow their own established protocol and/or visit Coronavirus.ohio.gov for more information.

As this is a fluid situation, ODOT will continue to monitor developments, take appropriate action and keep our industry partners informed as plans evolve.