I work with a lot of government employees at other agencies, plus have friends at other agencies around the state, and all anyone can talk about lately is if they’ll be working next week. With the legislature still struggling to pass a budget, the word is that if it doesn’t happen by July 1, State government will shut down for at least a week or two until something is hammered out.
The question I’ve been getting from the public is, what will happen to the construction projects that are either scheduled to start soon or are currently underway, if there is a government shut down? Well don’t worry, we won’t be left with gaping holes in our streets (beyond the potholes we have now, anyway) or half-paved roads while workers sit at home watching soap operas, waiting to get called back to work.
A state transportation budget was approved in late May so that is what we will continue to operate under. Leaders at the local WSDOT office say that there will be no disruption in construction or funding that they anticipate. There are a couple agencies local jurisdictions partner with on projects, such as fish and game or then Department of Ecology, to make sure transportation projects won’t harm wildlife or cause air pollution. WSDOT is working to identify those agencies and evaluate what the impact will be if they are shut down.