Road projects largely not impacted by state shutdown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Michigan residents to stay home for at least three weeks, there are a lot of questions about what shuts down and doesn’t.

News 8 reached out to several road agencies to see how they are moving forward during the stay-at-home order.

Grand Rapids officials said, for now, it’s business as usual. The city says the 2020 road construction season hasn’t started yet. There is the potential for delays down the road because utility inspections may be impacted by the executive order, which in turn, may impact construction projects later in the year. 

The Michigan Department of Transportation says their projects have been deemed critical infrastructure work and will continue as planned. 

MDOT’s project to rebuild and improve the 100th Street bridge over US-131 in southern Kent County started as planned last week. Its other projects will start in mid-April.

As for the Kent County Road Commission, crews are doing things like pothole patching and fixing guardrails.

KCRR Managing Director Steve Warren said they are on the job 24/7. They have had to make a few changes to make sure they are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“Will it push back projects? Potentially, but I think it’s too early to tell now. Let me say we don’t have any of those major construction projects scheduled to begin during the period of this executive order,” said Warren.

Warren said on the upside, the work they are doing could potentially go more efficiently since there are fewer cars on the roads.