The WYDOT commission meets Thursday

Discussing the effects of COVID on constructions, costs, and employee retention
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - If you’re noticing construction sites everywhere this summer, they may be sticking around a little longer than you think.

The WYDOT commission meeting on Thursday centered around their hottest topic this quarter, the effects of COVID-19 on the supply chain and construction season.

‘There’s a shortage, I believe nationwide on supplies of concrete,” said Doug McGee, WYDOT Public Affairs Officer

Contractors are having difficulties getting suitable materials and enough of them to finish jobs.

“So that’s causing some delays in addition those products are at a higher cost. So that’s affecting the estimated cost of the projects,” said Doug McGee, WYDOT Public Affairs Officer.

That’s ultimately affecting project completion and the bottom line.

“When we have a variable like were facing with the supply chain disruption were very concerned with what’s happening with prices,” said Phil Schmidt, Chairman of WYDOT.

Which will mean construction project delays just in time for summertime road travel.

“Not only are our people going to be put to task because there are going to be frustrations, but our partners in the construction industry are probably going to be singled out as part of a problem and they are not part of the problem, they are at the receiving end of a problem,” said Phil Schmidt, Chairman of WYDOT.

Schmidt has complete confidence in the association of general contractors to get the job done well despite the circumstances.

The one bright spot of the meeting was awarding 4.5 million gallons of fuel to a contract bid. Knowing this will have a positive impact WYDOT has on the state.

Restaurants and bars may not be the only sectors that are having a problem maintaining staff.

WYDOT is also facing problems with the retention and recruitment of employees.

The department is losing employees because the pay scale isn’t comparable to what’s paid in the private sector.

As a result, road crews are down to half in some locations, understaffing at the ports of entry, dispatch, and a loss of highway troopers to municipalities and counties.

Without competitive wages, WYDOT is concerned they may not have enough staff to respond to roadside situations to keep the public safe.

“Well when we’re short on troopers that equals the public doesn’t get the service especially in emergency situations,” said Doug McGee, WYDOT, Public Affairs Officer.

WYDOT also wants drivers to remember to wear their seat belts while on the road in Wyoming.

Put away distractions while driving, slow down in work zones, and obey speed limits. It’s the law.

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