With fewer cars on the road, PennDOT ramps up construction projects

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — PennDOT crews have been maximizing construction jobs on roads that are less traveled during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a regular year, traffic usually decreases in the summer by roughly 10%. This year, traffic volume is down by about 25%. 

More people are still working from home instead of commuting. Crews are taking advantage of this time and working during peak hours — without causing major gridlock.

“Those who have gone to the shore points and back have noticed the construction around 30th Street,” said PennDOT spokesperson Brad Rudolph. “That continues this summer, as does many others — more than 100 (projects) in our region.”

Crews are working simultaneously on about 100 projects, including along I-95, I-76 and Route 422. As the region gets deeper into the “green” phase, Rudolph said PennDOT’s operations center is monitoring the volume closely.

“We are taking advantage where we can. If we see backups occur past the limits that we approve, then we’ll pull contractors off and we’ll readjust,” he said, “and perhaps go back to non-peak hours.”

In the meantime, Rudolph reminds drivers that speed limits exist for a reason, even with fewer cars on the road. He said they’ve seen some very ugly accidents in the overnight hours from people driving way too fast, so he urges them to slow down and stay safe.