The Corona Virus Effect – Empty Roads May Pave the Way to Help Lessen Economic Damage

In the midst of the turmoil visited by the COVID-19 Virus, Florida’s governor announced plans to try to “lessen the economic damage” by turning its recently emptying roads into an opportunity. In conjunction with his April 1 announcement of a statewide stay at home executive order, the governor directed Florida’s Secretary of Transportation to greenlight the acceleration of $2.1 billion worth of targeted roadway projects. These currently include the $864 million Howard Franklin Bridge project in Tampa, the  Sandlake/International Drive project in Orlando, the widening of Southern Boulevard in Palm Beach County, and the $802 million Interstate 395/95 project in Miami. The governor, however, made clear that the state will “look to do more.” Although it is unclear whether any formal orders or announcements will be issued addressing the state’s infrastructure, state and local sources indicate that pending infrastructure projects will be reviewed for possible expediting or prioritizing with the collective goal of optimizing the emptied roads in exchange for a potential unemployment offset.

Infrastructure related businesses with state or local contracts should consider contacting their government clients to vet and/or propose projects for consideration. While the governor’s announcement impacts existing projects and contracts, infrastructure projects are a popular means of injecting life into the state economy, and so it can also be expected a delayed benefit may flow from efforts to prioritize other projects and contracts yet to be awarded.

The governor’s April 1 public announcement can be viewed at https://weartv.com/amp/news/local/gov-desantis-issues-stay-at-home-order-for-entire-state-of-florida.

To view time-sensitive resources and learn more about the protocols Shutts & Bowen is implementing to protect its employees and clients from COVID-19 exposure, click here.

  • Kathleen M. Krak
    Partner

    Kathleen Krak is a former prosecutor and a partner in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Construction Litigation Practice Group.

    Kathleen assists clients with a wide range of construction and general ...

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