Construction Project Impacts in COVID-19

During this time, many have questioned whether construction projects will be allowed to continue or whether public construction bids will go out on schedule. Still others have voiced that this is the perfect time to conduct even more road projects, as fewer people are traveling daily. We talked to both private and public entities to learn about how construction projects are being conducted under the current conditions and learn about the upcoming forecast for  construction opportunities.

Many ongoing construction projects are considered critical infrastructure projects so work on these projects continues while “Safer at Home” orders were issued by local and state governments. Communication is key to construction projects even the best of circumstances, and even more so given the needs of social distancing.  Dave Thomas, CEO of Ross Group, explains, “With unified communication and collaboration platforms (ie: Microsoft Teams and Skype), we are able to stay in contact and maintain communication… Constant communication and clear directions are the only way to help everyone stay on task and complete the project.”

Public construction is projected to remain strong. “Continuing the ‘normal’ implementation of the Capital Plan is advantageous from asset management perspective”, said Paul Zachary, Tulsa Engineering Services Director. “There are hundreds of projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in process in all Public Works disciplines (design to construction)…Moving forward with the capital program as planned contributes to  public health, public safety, and community well-being. We also recognize our part in economic recovery by infusing the Capital Program funds into the local economy.”

Rick Johnson, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director of Capital Programs, adds that, ““ODOT is not currently anticipating a delay in bid lettings a result of COVID-19 and/or budgetary concerns at this time.  Ensuring continuity of construction projects and future bid lettings is critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.  That being said, Oklahoma Transportation continues to re-evaluate the situation and continues to work closely with industry partners to refine social distancing practices to protect our essential employees.  The health and safety of our workers, and that of our industry partners remains our top priority.”

For more about upcoming City of Tulsa construction projects and how to become pre-qualified to receive bids, go to https://www.cityoftulsa.org/government/departments/engineering-services/construction-bids/. Information about Oklahoma Department of Transportation bids and pre-qualification can be found online at https://www.odot.org/contracts/index.htm.