The department says while its typical highway and bridge construction program has paused as the state responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, urgent emergency work has continued to ensure a reliable transportation system as circumstances surrounding the pandemic continue to unfold.
On March 17, in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID-19 mitigation guidance, PennDOT paused construction projects statewide to minimize exposure for PennDOT and private-sector employees, as well as the communities where they live and work.
"A safe and reliable transportation network is always of the utmost importance, but it becomes even more crucial in times of crisis," Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a statement. "We need to ensure that work continues on these critical projects, and we are taking the proper precautions to help ensure the safety of both our employees and our partners in the industry."
For any work activity addressing critical asset issues, strategies are deployed that include cleanliness protocols for jobsites and offices, social distancing guidelines, procedures to address employee sickness, and the safe handling of material deliveries.
The emergency work that continues addresses specific safety need criteria, such as landslide repairs or critical bridge, tunnel, and drainage repairs, as well as work needed to eliminate roadway restrictions that could impede the ability for the movement of life-sustaining goods and services. Conditions are continuously evaluated to determine the appropriate response.