Local News

DOT stays busy despite cuts

Posted September 4, 2009
Updated April 27, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Since last year, the state Department of Transportation has delayed roughly 75 percent of its projects. Despite less construction statewide, officials said its employees are staying busy.

Mark Foster, DOT's chief financial officer, said employees have been “either planning for future projects or they’re heavily involved in the maintenance of our 170,000 lane-miles of infrastructure and 18,000 bridges throughout the state.”

But late last year, economic reality set in when the department cut about 1,000 part-time employees.

Two full-time positions were cut last year. Both were vacant at the time.

Triangle Road Construction NCDOT planned for recession

This fiscal year, the DOT is eliminating 938 full-time vacant positions, including 187 administrative and 751 field positions.

Industry experts said the private sector has responded to the economic slowdown much quicker.

“We have experienced, over the past two years, 20 to 30 percent layoffs across the board in our industry,” said Christie Barbee, of the Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association. The association represents private sector road builders

Barbee said the industry is the worst it's ever been.

“It has been frustrating in the past that we were seeing the layoffs and there was so little work coming out of the department and yet there were not any layoffs,” Barbee said.

While she never celebrates job cuts, Barbee said she is seeing a culture change with the DOT’s new administration.

“Now, I think they’re making all the right decisions,” Barbee said.

Officials said the department had appropriately anticipated the economic downturn, which is why all the positions cut were vacant.

2 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • killerkestrel Sep 9, 2009

    Much of the construction is done by contractors, while most of maintenance is done by state forces. When the budget gets tight, the smart thing to do is to keep maintaining what you have, and cut construction. That's why contractors have had to cut positions.

    But NCDOT has cut personnel. NCDOT has maintained a 8% vacancy rate before the downturn, and it has increased to 15% because of the hiring freeze for the last year. NCDOT has also cut 1000 temps, for a total of 2000 workers lost over the last year.

    The irony is that the positions that were cut by the General Assembly were required to be vacant so managers maintained a 8% vacancy rate. The positions will be needed when the economy picks up again, and it will be heck for the NCDOT to get the positions back. It didn't help the budget, because no one was getting paid anyway. All it did was make lawmakers look good, and create more trouble for NCDOT.

  • pbjbeach Sep 8, 2009

    NEWS FLASH THE NCDOT DOESN'T EVEN STAY BUSY WHEN THEY ARE BUSY AS THAT STATE EMPLOYEES ARENT BEING ALLOWED BY UPPER MANGAMENT TO TO EVEN DO THEIR JOBS AS THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO BE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE ALL BECAUSE OF UPPER MANGAMENT DON'T WANT THEM TO ACTUALLY DO THEIR JOBS BECAUSE WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE RARELY ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOBS MANGAMENT IS SCARED OF TAKING THE HEAT FOR THEIR DOING THEIR JOBS FROM THE POLITICIAN THUS RESULTING IN EMPLOYEES NOT ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS DUTY'S AS PERCRIBED IN THEIR JOB DESCRIPITIONS THANK YOU