Last time we were approaching a government shutdown, I got a lot of questions about what happens with transportation if the government does shut down.

Well this time it looks like it actually could happen, so I assume people are wondering once again.

To start- not ALL government workers will be put on unpaid leave. “Essential” personnel will still report to work and so will employees whose
paychecks come from mandatory, not discretionary, spending — like those whose
positions are funded from the Highway Trust Fund.

According to this U.S. DOT document that was issued Friday outlining furlough procedures in case of a shutdown
all 2,914 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) employees will report to work tomorrow, since
those positions are all funded with contract authority. That means all operations continue
as normal.

There will be a lot of Federal Transit Administrtation (FTA) employees on leave however.

Here’s a who’s who of transportation agencies that will have staff on leave from DC Streetsblog.

Locally, you will not see any changes immediately. The Washington State Department of Transportation works under a separate transportation budget for the most part so will continue to operate as normal under that. Local jurisdictions such as the City of Spokane and Spokane County will also carry on with the transportation projects they’re working on as those are also already funded.

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