Highway Construction and Why it May Take Longer Than Planned

No matter where you’re from, there’s a major road around you that has been under construction for what seems like forever. It may even seem like they are never actually working on it, and sometimes, that’s true! But it’s not because they hired a bad company or the city is just being lazy, there are a lot of factors that go into major highway demolition and construction. Here is a list of common issues that can come up during roadway construction!

  • Government Approval. This may seem silly because if it’s a government road… why would the government take so long to approve improvements? The short answer is that there are quite a few different government agencies that have to be on board before construction can take off. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA who is responsible for the safety of the workers), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA, responsible for the potential negative impacts of these improvements) , Federal Highway Administration (FHWA, they approve the federal funds needed), and  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, this one explains itself) are just a few of the many approvals needed to start construction. 
  • Different contractors working together. Much like building a new home or office, there are multiple contractors needed for each aspect of roadwork. While all of these different roles are important, it’s not always easy to manage that many at once. If one team falls behind for any reason at all it throws off the entire timeline. 
  • Poor Planning. This often occurs when a more innovative approach is being taken and an outdated planning process, like just writing it out on paper, is used. 
  • Weather and other unexpected circumstances. Especially in Wisconsin, weather plays a huge role in road work getting done. SE Wisconsin, there is no way of knowing exactly when it will get cold. In 2013 Halloween was a comfortable 63 degrees and in 2019 we had a blizzard on Halloween. In Wisconsin, we know it’s going to get cold, but we have no idea when! This makes timelines for construction very difficult. Something like a major accident can also affect the timeline on a project. 

And even when everything is going according to plan, progress is all based on public perception and when we can’t see all of the progress that has actually been made side by side we assume nothing is getting done. At Masterwork, we specialize in road construction and so much more. For information on any of our services, contact Masterwork Construction today!