Cambridge, Mass., has followed Boston in banning construction during the state of emergency.
Nationwide, Boston was the fist to stop construction. Reaction has been mixed, with at least one industry group saying bans do more harm than good to workers and the economy.
“Given the precautions already in place, halting construction will do little to protect the health and safety of construction workers. But it will go a long way in undermining economic vitality by depriving millions of workers of the wages they will need over the coming days," Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said in a published report. "At the same time, these measures have the potential to bankrupt many construction firms who have contractual obligations to stay on schedule or risk incurring significant financial penalties."
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh halted all construction in the city starting Tuesday. On Wednesday, March 18, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and Public Health Commissioner Assaad J. Sayah, M.D., issued a moratorium order, the text of which follows.
CITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Temporary Emergency Construction Moratorium Order of March 18,2020
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the State of Emergency declared and Executive Orders issued by Governor Ba ker, the City of Cambridge (the "City") is instituting a Temporary Emergency Construction Moratorium ("Moratorium") on all construction activity on both public and private property until further notice. This is being done to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and safeguard the health of construction workers and all other
workers associated with the construction industry as well as members of the public.
During the Moratorium, the City will allow construction activity only with the explicit permission of the Commissioner of Inspectional Services (for building-related work) or the Commissioner of Public Works (for street or utility related work) provided that such activity is essential or in response to an emergency. Further guidelines are set forth be low.
I. Timeline for the Temporary Emergency Construction Moratorium:
Thursday, March 19,2020; Effective at 8:00 AM/ all issuance of building permits, trade permits and licenses by the Inspectional Services and Public Works Departments cease except for essential construction work approved pursuant to the Guidelines set forth below.
Saturday, March 21,2020: By close of business, all construction activity must cease, and construction sites may only
be accessed thereafter to make the job site safe and secure.
Thursday, March 26,2020; By dose of business, all make-safe measures must be in place and all job sites must be safe and secure.
II* Guidelines for Consideration of Essential Construction Work:
Contractors may request permission for construction from either the Commissioner of Inspectional Services or the Commissioner of Public Works if the activity is essential as determined by the following guidelines:
• Emergency work in buildings or streets to address leaks or utility failures,
• Utility connections or repairs if the cessation of such work poses a health or safety hazard/
• Work essential for maintaining life-safety systems/
* Work that ensures the safety and connectivity of the transportation network/
* Emergency work necessary to make a building safe and sanitary/ such as repair to a failed heating, electrical
or plumbing systems,
• Work required In connection with the provision of health services related to COVtD-19 at hospitals, health
care facilities, health clinics and doctors' offices,
• Work associated directly with COVID-19 mitigation, such as temporary shetters, temporary health care
facilities or related laboratory research/
* Work to maintain all make-safe measures previously implemented at job sites,
• Authorized building or utility work in order to render occupied buildings habltable/ and
• Work determined by the Commissioner of Inspecttonal Services or the Commissioner of Public Works as
essential but not listed above.
The Commissioncr of Inspectlonal Services or the Commlsttoner of Pubtlc Worlcs wllf review requests forexceptions to the Moratorium on 3 case-by-case basis. See contact Information below.
Exceptions to the Moratorium will be granted only If they are essential for the support of public safety. New projects cannot start st this time unless they meet the above criteria and approval Is given. Any active construction project must be secured by 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 26,2020. Contractors shall monitor secured job sites to make sure they remain safe and secure,
The followlng type of work is exempt from the Moratorium:
• Construction on one, two and three family residential structures already permitted, including associated building trades.
Contractors at these types of job sites are asked to limit the number of workers on site to allow safe social distancing practices as recommended by the Department of Public Health.
This Moratorium Is effective only for construction work, Including building trades, regulated or permitted by the Commissioner of Inspectlonal Services or the Commissioner of Public Works.
This Moratorium shall remain in effect until further notice.
Dated: March 18, 2020