Original Scope: The onset and progress of the global COVID-19 pandemic have presented unprecedented challenges to state transportation agencies. Often changing public health precautions and guidelines, high absenteeism due to illness, fear and anxiety within agency and contractor workforces and the public generally, supply shortages, and economic instability and sudden changes in travel demand, and reduced revenues were among the more visible disruptions to “normal” operations. More subtle challenges arose from coping with telework, public demands for increased safety measures, and construction seasons with lighter than usual vehicle traffic. Throughout the experience agencies have learned valuable lessons and many have found innovative ways to maintain their operations and productivity.
Anecdotal evidence from agencies in Washington State, Virginia, Vermont, Texas, Minnesota, Idaho, Georgia, and others indicates that the experiences gained in dealing with the pandemic disruptions may be useful to other agencies and in the preparing for and responding to future disruptions stemming from public health concerns or other sources. Technology played a key role in some instances, while others illustrate the value of flexible staffing policies, workforce adaptability, and effective leadership. The objective of this scan is to document agency experiences and the lessons learned that can ensure and facilitate agency resilience to maintain efficiency and effectiveness during disruption and post-event recovery, as well as agency preparedness for future disruptions.
The scan team will seek to identify the most innovative and beneficial elements of practice adopted by state transportation agencies to maintain their productivity and system performance, particularly as those activities have enhanced agency resilience and are likely to strengthen agencies’ adaptability if confronted by future disruptions. The scan will investigate such key factors as remote work policies and arrangements, use and configuration of physical workplace, continuity of services and prioritization of work, use and incorporation of technology; productivity and performance management, employee engagement, remote training and learning, communications, and leadership and culture.
Implementation and Impact
None to report at this time.
Ready Results Brief
- Amanda Holland, Alaska DOT&PF, AASHTO Chair
- Karen Bobo, FHWA
- Lee Wilkinson, Iowa DOT
- Jeff Pelton, Washington State DOT
- Brian Robinson, Georgia DOT
- Jayna Morse, Vermont Agency of Transportation
- Troy L. Peterson, Utah DOT
- Rick Smith, Subject Matter Expert
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