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PennDOT utilizing ‘skeleton’ crew during COVID-19 crisis

PennDOT is functioning with a “skeleton” crew amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Though it’s too early to say just to what degree that will impact the upcoming road construction season.

District Press Officer Jill Harry told the Times Observer “a lot of our employees at the district level are working from home.”

At the maintenance level, Harry said PennDOT has “what I would call a skeleton crew that is handling any type of repairs that need to be made on an emergency (or) semi-emergency basis.”

She described those items as “things that can’t be left undone” and said crews are “not handling everything that is coming in” but are “prioritizing things that can wait and things that can’t wait.

Examples? A struck stop sign would be “prioritized,” she said but “something that isn’t really an emergency” such as a “dead deer on the shoulder not creating a safety hazard” would wait.

How might this impact the summer construction season.

“It’s too early to say specifics,” Harry said, noting the department is “still trying to come up with a gameplan.”

“We have had to delay the start of some things.” She noted a couple projects in the district had started but “had to come to a halt.”

The ultimate effect “depends on how long this situation is in place,” Harry said.

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