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Will less traffic on the roads help speed up metro Detroit construction projects?

Posted: 7:39 AM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 07:40:57-04

(WXYZ) — Some good news when it comes to the roads amid the coronavirus: Construction is moving along as scheduled.

While projects won't get done any faster, less people on the road means construction workers are in better working conditions.

“It is a bit safer because drivers are really the most dangerous thing on the roads for construction workers," said Diane Cross with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

With people staying indoors amid COVID-19, the one job continuing is construction.

“Many of our groups, that are outdoors, they are in smaller groups of people so they are not having quite the same close distances as people who work inside," Cross said.

That being said, construction projects on highways will not be done any sooner.

“It’s the amount of time it takes for things like concrete to cure, and for concrete to be removed, or asphalt to be laid down, Cross said.

The one thing that has changed — how semi trucks operate.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order loosening restrictions.

It includes a temporary exempt from seasonal weight restrictions on semis, allowing them to get food and tools used to fight COVID-19 from point A to B quickly.

It also exempts any noise restrictions and timing restrictions on those important deliveries.

In the meantime, MDOT is making sure the roads are kept safe.

“We still have plenty of work going on because we are taking care of the emergency repairs like pot holes, or guard rail repairs," according to Cross.

Cross says the department is following guidelines set by Governor Whitmer and practicing social distancing when possible, and of course, cleanliness.