TO: ACEC Ohio and the Ohio Engineering Design Firms
FROM: Lloyd V. MacAdam. P.E., P.S. Chief Engineer, Assistant Director of Transportation Policy
SUBJECT: Statement to Design 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 design 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 completion of the design of our upcoming construction projects.
As you are aware, this situation has resulted in significant impacts to our economy. Many employers 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 certainly 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.
ODOT also remains committed to continuing to develop our upcoming construction program despite the looming revenue reduction given the real possibility of a federal stimulus package which could include money for construction projects. In short we want to have shovel ready projects waiting for money which may become available to the State DOT’s.
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.