TxDOT is acting to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. On Friday and over the weekend the department took several steps to protect the public and TxDOT employees. At the same time, TxDOT remains committed to delivering services to its customers all over the Lone Star State.
Given the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel gatherings of 50 or more people and the request from President Donald Trump to avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, TxDOT is postponing or canceling its in-person public hearings and gatherings through April 3. That date is subject to change. This excludes the Texas Transportation Commission meeting on March 26, 2020, which will be addressed separately. When possible TxDOT will look to offer virtual participation strategies for public input.
Work on projects to improve our transportation system continues, as does TxDOT’s ongoing work to maintain and operate our state’s transportation system, to include ferry operations.
TxDOT has closed the lobbies of its 12 Travel Information Centers until further notice to help combat the threat of COVID-19. Outside restrooms will remain available at all times and will be regularly cleaned between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The safety rest areas on highways throughout the state remain open. These provide important rest stops for drivers.
Travelers can also still speak with our center counselors about road conditions or travel information between 8 a.m.and 5 p.m. Anyone can call 1-800-452-9292 or visit drivetexas.org to obtain road condition information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As awareness is key, on Saturday, March 14, TxDOT began sharing safety messages on its digital highway signs throughout the state. These messages include, “Give Xtra Space, With Each Other, And On The Road” and “Hands Clean, 2 Beat Covid-19, Be on TX Team.” These are short, easy to read messages to help reinforce the importance of preventing the spread of the virus.
In conjunction with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration related to COVID-19, TxDOT is also requiring its office-based employees to telework beginning March 16.
Teleworking has been an option for TxDOT office-based employees for several years now, and with this temporary new directive, TxDOT will continue serving the state’s transportation needs. TxDOT’s number one priority is always safety, and the agency is in constant contact with state health and emergency management officials to do its part during this global health situation.
Visit the COVID-19 website of the Texas Department of State Health Services at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ for the most up to date information and guidance from state health officials.