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Critical goods on the go

To keep the supply chain of critical goods and services intact during the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officers (MAASTO) are coordinating strategies that will help the citizens of the central United States.

“Meeting the challenge of the pandemic will require that we can get vital goods like food and medical supplies, where they are needed,” said MAASTO president Craig Thompson, who is secretary designee of the WisDOT. “These supply chains don’t stop at state borders. We need to be working with other states, especially our neighbors in the middle of the country, to make sure we do what is needed to remove barriers that would impede response and recovery.”

MAASTO member states are collaborating to permit overweight freight shipments, making it easier to ship crucial supplies. They are also easing regulations on CDL holders, ensuring the maximum number of motor carrier drivers are available to move freight.

They continue to limit public exposure at motor vehicle service centers. Many states are offering only limited in-person service, and relaxing requirements for license and registration renewals, to reduce the need for trips to the DMV.

The MAASTO is also issuing guidance to contractors, so construction projects can proceed, while keeping workers safe.

“Because of the evolving nature of the public health emergency, our work with the other MAASTO states helps us problem solve and work toward a unified solution to the supply chain challenges,” said Julie Lorenz, MAASTO vice president and secretary of the Kansas DOT. “The emergency isn’t happening in a vacuum, we have a responsibility to support each other today, and set a good path for recovery in the future.”