RALEIGH – As people across North Carolina have taken lifesaving measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, traffic volumes have plummeted, causing at least a $300 million budget shortfall for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for this fiscal year (ending June 30).
Because NCDOT revenue is fully funded through the Motor Fuels Tax, Highway Use Tax and DMV fees this significant impact has forced the department to notify local governments, stakeholders and the general public that all but about 50 major projects scheduled to start in the next 12 months are delayed. Projects moving forward are funded by GARVEE bonds, BUILD NC bonds and federal grants.
“There are a great many unknowns about the future of state and county travel restrictions and how they will impact our ferry service offerings,” said Ferry Division spokesman Tim Hass regarding passenger ferry service to Ocracoke this year. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes to our plans accordingly.”
A list of the projects that are still scheduled to be awarded in the next year is available on the NCDOT website. The list of projects that have schedule changes is attached.
These changes do not affect construction projects already underway or that have already been awarded.
The department is taking other significant steps to decrease expenditures, including:
- Allowing only mission critical purchases
- Laying off temporary and embedded consultants
- Suspending or decreasing many programs and services
- Hiring freeze (except for positions that impact public safety)
The department is in the process of developing plans for potential furloughs and a reduction in force (RIF).
Those plans are not yet complete and no decision has been made at this time to enact them.