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Covid-19 delays county bond projects

Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Like so many other things these days, the projects funded by Travis County’s 2017-2022 bond program have experienced delays. The $301 million bond package was divvied out between 59 different projects that were slated for completion by the end of 2022. Now only 49 of those projects will be completed on schedule. According to Jessy Milner, the program manager for the bond package, the other projects are delayed for varying lengths of time. “The master schedule has adjusted to a total of a 10-day additional increase in average overall project duration,” he told the Commissioners Court. Some of the projects are delayed by six months or more. “Due to Covid, there are just new working environments,” he said, referring to new social distancing mandates on construction sites, project managers working at home and difficulties in temporarily shutting off utilities to move them to a new location. Hurricane Laura making landfall last week did not help the situation. Milner said that many construction crews paused work in Travis County to help with emergency response projects in the state. Morgan Cotton, director of the county’s Public Works Department, said, “Even with the struggle with the pandemic … (staffers) have all stepped up and done a yeoman’s effort at trying to keep this project program running as originally scheduled.” He noted that many of the delays are “totally out of our control.”

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