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Old Posted May 11, 2020, 2:25 PM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 14,259
^ It's hard to cycle this stuff up and down on short notice. Nobody has any more money to pour into construction than they did before the pandemic, but now budgets are stretched even tighter. The phrase "shovel-ready project" is kind of a joke, because engineering is expensive and cities/states don't usually pay for final design/engineering until they already have the money for construction lined up. So even if you hand governments the money tomorrrow, it may still take 12 months to complete the design work. And that's assuming all the planning and environmental impact studies are done - if not, add another 2 years at least. Even under normal circumstances, the system for project approval is designed purposefully to slow the process down as much as possible, because nobody wants another freeway cutting through their precious neighborhood and displacing people... a VERY long timeline in theory allows for years of public debate, legal challenges, and careful consideration of every minor little impact.

It's also tough for governments to front-load projects that are already approved/designed/funded, because the workforce in the various roadbuilding contractors is limited, and they won't staff up/train new employees without a guarantee of several good years of work.
The most governments can do is speed up projects that are already under construction, by doing larger and longer closures of roads to traffic. Last weekend they closed ALL FOUR outbound lanes of the Kennedy to demolish part of the bridge at Montrose. But even that window is closing, as businesses start to re-open and everyone is scared off transit - congestion will return to pre-pandemic levels soon, even before businesses are fully re-open. Governments can also speed up small projects (resurfacing, restriping, etc) using city workers to do the design and construction, if they have the money to pay them overtime. CDOT has striped some bike lanes, done some curb bumpouts around town, etc but nothing huge.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 11, 2020 at 2:35 PM.
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