Construction in San Francisco, Michigan, Pennsylvania to Restart in May
Engineering News-Record reports on the growing roster of cities and states that plan to restart non-essential construction in early May. Find ENR’s latest coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.
San Francisco: May 4
Seven San Francisco Bay–area health officers are reopening all construction, effective May 4, under updated shelter-in-place orders. But new required safety protocols, in place of social distancing requirements, are prompting questions from firms and industry groups regarding the mandate for third-party, COVID-19 accountability supervisors.
“Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols included with the order,” the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara and the City of Berkeley said in a joint press release on April 29.
Michigan: May 7
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is planning to sign an executive order May 1 to reopen the state's residential and commercial construction projects May 7.
While work deemed "essential public works" has been allowed to proceed through the COVID-19 pandemic—including energy facilities, waterways and specific road and bridge projects such as the $629-million I-75 reconstruction and the $5.7-billion Gordie Howe Bridge—all other work has been halted as part of Michigan's stay home, stay safe executive order that Whitmer signed March 23 to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Pennsylvania: May 8
After sitting idle for approximately six weeks, nonessential construction sites across Pennsylvania are gearing up to resume work on May 1. In doing so, project teams must adhere to new COVID-19 safety regulations released by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) on April 24. Wolf became one of the first governors in the country to shut down all but essential projects on March 19.
In late April, Wolf said nonessential work could resume on May 8 before he moved up the restart date by a week. “We recognize that the construction industry is vital to Pennsylvania’s economy,” Wolf said in a statement, “and may operate safely with stringent guidance in place that will protect employees and the public.”