Boston Mayor Walsh Announces Plan to Begin Construction Reopening

Thu May 21, 2020 - Northeast Edition #11
CEG

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced May 5 plans to gradually reopen construction projects throughout the city.

The city of Boston will be taking an incremental approach to broaden the allowable categories, he said during a video call with Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts. Walsh also said he planned to speak with Gov. Charlie Baker and suggested the governor may expand the definition of essential.

Key dates of the gradual restart included and will include:

  • May 5, 2020 — Essential construction projects with approved safety plans and signed affidavits filed with the appropriate regulatory agencies will be authorized to prepare the site with project-specific COVID-19 safety measures.
  • May 18, 2020 — the city of Boston will allow essential construction project on sites that meet the following criteria: (1) Projects are permitted, in compliance and have filed a COVID-19 Safety plan and a signed affidavit; (2) Project sites are sufficiently prepared to adhere to all criteria of their safety plan; and (3) the work is for hospitals, public schools, residential buildings [1-3 units], road and utility work or other outdoor/open air-work such as steel erection, roofing and constructing foundations.
  • May 26, 2020 —Boston will allow all essential construction projects to re-commence construction activities in adherence to their safety plans. This incremental approach will provide the time necessary to allow complex, large-scale development an opportunity to educate their workforce, safely remobilize and implement their site-specific Safety Plan.

Citing concerns about construction falling badly behind in the city, Walsh has been working with Mass. Governor Charlie Baker to expand the definition of "essential."

"There's been a lot of back and forth between us and the city — and us and other communities — around construction, generally," Baker said. "I think they also came and met with the [state's reopening] advisory board. This is one of those issues that's pretty top of mind and will certainly be dealt with when they issue their report."

"I think that he'll [Baker] have to make an amendment to his non-essential/essential construction list," Walsh said.

As these construction restrictions are eased, Walsh also warned developers not to penalize workers who aren't comfortable returning to job sites. CEG