The director of the Iowa Department of Transportation says they are moving ahead with road construction projects as the weather allows.

Scott Marler told the Transportation Commission Monday that he’s been talking with the asphalt and concrete companies and engineers.

“We had a meeting with these folks to make sure that our road construction program is continuing, and we assured them that is our intent,” Marler says. He says traffic volume is down with the coronavirus emergency orders in place, and they are looking at how that can help them.

“We’ve been talking about how to take advantage of the lower traffic volumes to do lane closures more efficiently,” he says. Marler says more than 70% of DOT employees are telecommuting. “Essentially we are open for business and we are continuing to get our work done and develop our projects and prepare for lettings,” according to Marler.

The DOT’s Stuart Anderson gave the Transportation Commission an update on the federal recovery funds. “Transit agencies and intercity bus carriers that serve rural communities in Iowa are being allocated over 107 million dollars,” Anderson says. “Some of that flows directly to the larger transit agencies, other portions of that funding flows through the Iowa DOT and on to public transit agencies,” Anderson says.

He says the funding will help the systems that have been hit by a drop in riders since the coronavirus outbreak. “That funding is very flexible and is 100 percent federal funding and is available until expended. We will be working very closely with the transit agencies to get that money to work,” he says.

Anderson says airports in the state will also be getting some relief funds. “We do expect the Federal Aviation Administration later this week to announce how much is being allocated to each individual airport — so we should have the information in just a matter of days,” according to Anderson. Anderson says the aviation funding will go directly from the FAA to the airports.