A message to our business partners:
At MoDOT, we continue to evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting our operations. We are a provider of critical services to the public and, as such, we are keeping vital transportation projects and essential state highway maintenance operations moving to the best of our ability.
We have a Continuity of Operation Plan in place that is designed to keep critical functions going. We are following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Office of Administration. As such, we are encouraging social distancing and remote working to reduce personal contact as much as possible. We are also limiting travel when and where practical.
To reduce personal contact as outlined by CDC and DHSS guidelines, MoDOT is conducting all pre-bid, pre-construction and project public meetings virtually (video or teleconference) until further notice. MoDOT staff is coordinating with industry on the details of these meetings as needed.
Contract inspection and administration and consultant and professional services activities continue to move forward but are being conducted virtually or adhering to social distancing guidelines for interactions.
MoDOT is working with its partners in the contracting industry to emphasize the need for social distancing and adherence to other DHSS and CDC guidelines on job sites. A requirement for social distancing has been written into all construction contracts beginning with the projects in the April bid opening.
In addition, in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and adjust to workplace supply, we are working with our contractors when and where we can to give them greater flexibility in delivering projects given the decrease in traffic volumes statewide.
Transportation Funding Impacts
- As stated, we are continuing the design and construction of the state's road and bridge projects.
- However, lower traffic volumes throughout the pandemic mean lower fuel tax revenue.
- Nationwide, states on average are anticipating about a 35% decline in targeted revenue.
- We are carefully monitoring the situation in Missouri and are evaluating how that will affect future projects.
- We are being cautious with how we move forward as we wait to see what relief may come from the federal government and how long and significant the COVID-19 impacts might be.
- While we have not stopped any construction projects that are underway, we have scaled back the May and June project bid lettings by about 30%. A July letting was not planned.
- We will continue with existing consultant contracts but will scale back adding new consultant contracts unless they are associated with critical asset management projects.
- We are also delaying the annual Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) update.
- We will continue the construction program using the 2020-2024 STIP that was fully vetted a year ago, approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and the Federal Highway Administration, and last amended by the commission in April 2020.
- For fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1, we will use the established amendment process to make additions or changes to the STIP to keep critical projects and functions moving forward.
- At the federal level, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has asked Congress for an immediate infusion of at least $37 billion to state departments of transportation to ensure the delivery of planned transportation projects whose benefits will extend far beyond this pandemic and forestall further job losses in the public and private sectors.
- We remain in close contact with our contracting and consulting partners to keep them informed.
Please reach out to your typical contacts should you have any questions regarding project design and construction. You can also contact Dave Ahlvers, State Construction and Materials Engineer, at 573-751-7455 or David.Ahlvers@modot.mo.gov or Travis Koestner, State Design Engineer, at 573-526-0245 or Travis.Koestner@modot.mo.gov for general program delivery questions. General questions related to COIVD-19 as it relates to MoDOT Business can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thoughts are with you and your families, friends and co-workers at this challenging and stressful time. We will keep you informed moving forward as to any changes that might affect our business operations and our partnerships with you. We are all in this together, and together we will make it through. Please stay healthy and safe and let us know how best we can help you be productive and profitable in light of this pandemic situation.