Decreased traffic could speed up spring road construction projects

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BISMARCK, N.D. - As more businesses close and people work from home, traffic on the roads has decreased.

This could speed up Department of Transportation construction projects.

Spring construction is about to ramp up for the North Dakota D.O.T. Directors say you'll likely see highway projects popping up in the next few weeks.

Contractors say decreased traffic is making it easier for crews to get the job done.

Transportation is an essential function of the state's economy and moving people and goods.

ND DOT directors say it's also a critical link in combating the pandemic.

"It's essential for emergency medical services. It's essential for transporting medical equipment and those sorts of things during this COVID-19 crisis,” says ND D.O.T. City Construction Engineer Phil Murdoff.

This is why the DOT says it has opted to continue on with all scheduled projects for 2020.

A slowdown in traffic could help with the worker efficiency.

"It definitely will help with the safety and with the impact on the public and it will allow the contractor to get materials in and out of the project easier with less congestion," Murdoff says.

Strata Corporation workers are gearing up for road projects across the state.

Vice President Steve Griffin says less traffic will help with the construction process.
However, the coronavirus could cause some bumps in the road if workers were to get sick.

"We do have some specialty practices where that will slow things down if, for some particular reason, someone happens to get sick,” Griffin says.

That's why he says his workers will be taking precautions outlined by Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health to keep workers safe.

As of now, public access to the Department of Transportation is restricted until further notice. Employees are working off site.

If you’re in need of D.O.T. services, you can visit their website at dot.nd.gov for alternatives to in-person business.