As traffic volumes across the country have plummeted due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the North Carolina DOT (NCDOT) says the reduction in travel is causing at least a $300 million budget shortfall for the department for this fiscal year.
Because NCDOT revenue is fully funded through the Motor Fuels Tax, Highway Use Tax, and DMV fees, this significant impact has forced the department to notify local governments, stakeholders, and the general public that all but about 50 major projects scheduled to start in the next 12 months are delayed.
NCDOT says projects moving forward are funded by GARVEE bonds, BUILD NC bonds, and federal grants.
A list of the projects that are still scheduled to be awarded in the next year as well as projects that have schedule changes are available on the NCDOT website. NCDOT says these changes do not affect construction projects already underway or that have already been awarded.
The department is taking other significant steps to decrease expenditures, including allowing only mission critical purchases; laying off temporary and embedded consultants; suspending or decreasing many programs and services; and implementing a hiring freeze (except for positions that impact public safety).
The department says it is in the process of developing plans for potential furloughs and a Reduction in Force (RIF). Those plans are not yet complete and no decision has been made at this time to enact them.
SOURCE: North Carolina DOT