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New York Post

Bernadette Hogan, Julia Marsh, Rich Calder



Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that he is immediately suspending all non-essential construction statewide to help prevent the coronavirus pandemic from spreading further.

“We’re closing down non-essential construction sites,” Cuomo told reporters today at Javits Center in Manhattan. “Some construction is essential, right? To keep the place running, but non-essential construction is gonna be stopped.”

The temporary ban, which will run through April 19, follows other major cities like Boston and San Francisco, which instituted similar measures.

It covers typical residential or commercial construction, but not essential jobs related to hospitals and health care facilities, transit, utilities, roads, bridges, homeless shelters and emergency repairs.

Social distancing amongst workers must still have to be maintained during allowable construction.

Violators will face fines of up to $10,000 per offense.

The Post last week reported that the city’s construction trades workers are still showing up for work — sometimes even while sick — causing many city officials to call for a non-essential construction ban.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on WNYC radio that he backs the new guidelines, saying “any construction that is not about the public good” like luxury condos “is going to end” because “we need to protect people.”

When asked why it took so long, Hizzoner said “a week ago it was not at all clear the stimulus bill was going to happen … people are just losing their income so deeply that there’s fundamental problems like affording food, affording medicine.”

“I think there was a real hesitation to take away work that might be allowable because it was still outdoor work. Now that the stimulus is there, to me, that certainly was a real part about feeling better than canceling this non-essential construction knowing that people would have some kind of support.”

Carlo Scissura, president of New York Building Congress, said the trade group backs Cuomo’s plan.

“The health and safety of building industry workers and every New Yorker remain the highest priority as we continue to respond to this pandemic,” he said.

“Just as the governor has outlined, we must carry on with New York’s most critical projects, from infrastructure and public works to healthcare and affordable housing. These projects are essential to our region’s future and will benefit our most vulnerable populations.”

Published on

Mar 27, 2020 by New York Building Congress