Everybody keeps saying to do things like this. "Why not front-load a bunch of Pike Realignment project stuff" and blah blah blah. But these are megaprojects with huge number of moving parts, and some of those moving parts are considerably more paralyzed by COVID-19 than others so where does the coordination come from to whole-hog expedite things? Yeah, Amtrak can do some overdue night track work right now by lengthening its overnight shift...but that's only spot repair work already on a schedule for some month of this year or already on this week's overnight schedule slate and just potentially packable into expanded night hours. Being in perpetual-motion repairs is the only reason anything whatsoever would be moveable around the calendar at all. But the full-on gutting/rebuilding of the North River tubes that was supposed to come 3-years-per-tube after Gateway came online hasn't even been prelim designed yet, or funded for design...because the fucking Feds are still playing chicken with Gateway funding in the first place. Congress isn't taking up any nonessential business right now so you've got no revenue streams to pay a design firm to get even the first rehab design doodles started, few design firms are fully-staffed right now, and Amtrak itself is not fully staffed because the records dept. that would have handy all the last several decades' of inspection reports on every itty-bitty last thing that's wrong with the tubes is furloughed as nonessential. Where's the starting point when those are the default conditions???With this be a good time to take one Hudson River tube out of service maybe over a weekend to do some interim repairs?
I'll say it again in another thread: this is NOT an "opportunity" for disruptively innovating construction schedules. Only the deadest-simple stuff with materials pre-existing onhand like regularly scheduled night trackwork or roadwork has any ability to be stacked n' packed right now. If third-party contractors or any supply chain involved, there's 95% likelihood that at least one of the involved third parties has one hand tied behind its back on staffing just like the rest of the world. And the rest of the basic project-coordination management universe of desk jockeys tasked with triaging anything remotely complicated between multiple parties has basically been sent home as nonessential. Not to mention fat chance of proceeding with anything that needs as prerequisite for "shovel-ready" any outstanding permit applications to be signed by some local, state, or federal authority whose offices are long closed and who are only handling emergency filings from their virtual-remote perches for foreseeable future. The across-board logistics aren't close to aligning for getting "spare-time" project starts. You're seeing that in the real world...more grab-n'-go DOT stuff like lane closures for always-running pavement work because there's no bureaucracy to square to reshuffle that deck, largely self-contained projects not overly dependent on outside materials deliveries continuing uninterrupted, and almost everything else either stopping or significantly slowing because the virus outruns the reach of all possible triaging creativity with supply chains. Expect more of exactly the same during this interregnum, no matter whose project it is.