Construction Ongoing during Covid-19 Outbreak
On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published a memorandum on identification of essential critical workers during the COVID-19 response. The Memo was created in collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector to help State and local officials.
The Memo describes the list it provides is advisory in nature only. Further,
The attached list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.
Maryland Transportation Builders & Materials Association (3/30/20) – Gov. Hogan issued a new "Stay-At-Home" directive for Maryland. Transportation construction is still deemed essential.
Carolinas AGC (4/2/20) - With the Governor’s stay in place order construction can continue. However, the order allows local government to put in place stricter rules if they elect to do so. To date no local government has put in place any order to restrict construction.
NCDOT has put in place a COVD-19 NCDOT Workforce Safety Plan that contractors must sign and agree to for work to continue.
NCDOT is working on projections on the decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19. They are anticipating significant revenue losses for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.
NCDOT has not delayed any lettings yet but they are evaluating, and we expect project delays to be forthcoming.
The current goal is to keep projects under construction going along with any projects that have been awarded but not yet executed.
Carolinas AGC (3/24/20) – SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall issued the following statement:
“SCDOT intends to keep working on road and bridge construction projects until it is no longer safe or effective for us to do so. At this point in time, there are no disruptions in the material supply chain or road worker availability. Additionally, like other businesses in the state, our industry has implemented sanitizing and personal health protection measures. We will continually reassess the situation and will adjust as needed to ensure the health and well-being of the employees in our industry.”
(3/27/20) - Although a limited number of other states have shut down infrastructure projects Virginia projects remain open. Following our regular COVID-19 Update conference call with VDOT this morning we can report that as we head into the weekend there is no change in efforts to keep projects and procurement safely moving. Significant emphasis and attention remain on the implementation of all appropriate measures to minimize the health risks on our projects...
Reminder for prime contractors: If you have any subcontractors or suppliers, including DBE and SWaM businesses, that have notified you that they cannot perform timely services or deliver materials to your project you are strongly encouraged to request from them a written notice documenting their status along with the reason(s) (ie.. Coronavirus infections, etc.). Verbal notice will not be helpful if you need to seek relief on your project schedule or DBE/SWaM commitments.
Effective at 5 p.m., Friday, March 20, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is closing offices and other non-public facilities to walk-in visitors until further notice as a precaution to help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
This includes all district offices, residencies, area headquarters and the agency’s Central Office in Richmond. The agency will implement a visitor-by-appointment process to ensure essential services and operations continue.
Safety rest areas and ferry facilities remain open to the public, with enhanced cleaning and protective measures in place. Service on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry has been reduced, and drivers and passengers are asked to remain in their vehicles during trips.
VDOT’s top priority is the safety of its workers and the traveling public. The agency continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and take action to ensure critical operations, construction and maintenance are uninterrupted.
Stay at Home order issued excludes:
• Utilities including water, sewer, and natural gas
• Coal-fired and other means of electrical generation
• Coal mining and production or distribution of other raw materials including oil and natural gas
• Hardware and supply stores
• Businesses that manufacture, produce, prepare, build, store, sell and distribute the materials and facilities needed to respond to this public health emergency
• Building, construction and other trades that support essential infrastructure
• Communications infrastructure and services, including media
• Cyber and other security operations and services
• Flood control and solid waste, recycling and sanitation collection and removal
U.S. Governmental Business Resources:
- CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- CDC: Information for Communities, Schools, and Businesses
- CDC: Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations – Community Facilities
- SBA: COVID-19 Resources
- DOL: Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus
- DOL: OHSA Resources for Workers and Employers on COVID-19
- WHO: Get Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
- CISA: Risk Management for COVID-19
- EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19