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Governor shuts down non-essential construction

Governor Andrew Cuomo today shut down all non-essential construction in New York City.

Only emergency construction on projects necessary to protect health and safety, or where it would be dangers to leave a job unfinished, are permitted until futher notice.

In one of several executive orders issue this morning, the governor announced that essential construction can continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters.

At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, workers are ordered to maintain social distancing rule. Workers can share elevators, meal rooms and must enter and exit sites six feet apart,

Those who violate the safety and distancing regulations face shutdown and fines of up to $10,000 per violation.

Self employed contractors who work alone are exempt from the executive order.

The Building Trades Employers Association [BTEA], the largest association of union contractors in New York, said it supported the order.

Louis J. Coletti

“We have supported the Governor’s efforts to keep construction job sites open,” said BTEA President, Louis J. Coletti.  “Our member contractors have implemented robust preventative  protocols to protect their workers, while seeking to keep New York’s economy moving forward.  However, the current state of escalating COVID-19 cases confirms the Governor’s prudent action today in his Executive Order __ to shut down all non-essential construction job sites through April 21.

“The protection of all our workers and all New Yorkers is paramount,” confirmed Coletti.  “We look forward to rebuilding New York’s economy when it is safe to do so.”

Meanwhile, a group of construction organizations called on Cuomo to revisit plans to expand the state’s prevailing wage legislation to private companies.

“Under normal circumstances, we firmly believe this proposal is bad policy; advancing these costly mandates now would be devastating,” said the groups, which include Associated Builders and Contractors and the New York State Economic Development Council.

“Construction companies and other private businesses are fighting to survive this crisis. Expanding the state’s prevailing wage mandates to private construction will dramatically increase costs and make survival even more difficult. These increases would severely impede efforts to restart our economy after this crisis.”

The full executive order on non-essential workers can be viewed here

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