COVID-19

UPDATE! 4/24/20

CORONAVIRUS Latest 

MAY 1 RESTART FOR MOST PENNDOT PROJECTS

Apr 23, 2020 |  (Associated PA Constructors “APC”) | CoronavirusHot TopicNewsPennDOT NewsTop Stories | 

With the governor’s April 22 announcement that all construction can resume May 1, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike are accelerating to restart most projects. On May 1, most areas of the state will see all currently shutdown projects move to restart. However, some areas, particularly in COVID-19 “Hot Spots” may see some projects not restart immediately. All contractors will receive communication by early next week regarding the status of their projects. In addition, about 50 projects will be moved to restart prior to May 1. Contractors on those jobs will be notified shortly, as early as Friday, April 24.

The Restart Task Force which includes Chuck Niederriter, Al Hoffman, Scott Grannas, and Geoff Clarke met today to discuss the process of getting ready for May 1. The three-phases in the Restart Guidance document will be changed. Some minor revisions will be made to the Supplemental Safety Plan portion to provide links to the Department of Health Guidelines. APC has asked for Central Office to provide guidance to Districts on negotiating costs for the shutdown, etc. APC is preparing a list of cost areas (including but not limited to) for review with the Department.

UPDATE! 4/23/20 12:36 PM

This Week in the Capitol…April 23

Apr 23, 2020 (Associated PA Constructors “APC”)| Advocacy/PoliticsNewsThis Week in the Capitol |

Moving Forward.  The week ended very differently than how it began.  On Monday, the General Assembly convened for two days of active session to advance a series of bills to force a re-opening of several facets of the Pennsylvania business sector.  This was in direct response to Governor Wolf’s promised veto of Senate Bill 613 which we reported on last week.  Go here if you missed that update. Upon vetoing the bill as promised, Gov. Wolf announced his own plan to reopen the economy in a series of controlled stages and on an expected regional basis.  His plan can be viewed here.

A key component of this plan was also an announcement that the state’s construction industry can re-open as of May 1.  The industry is now working with PennDOT and other state agencies to determine how that reopening will occur and what procedures the industry must follow to get back to work.

The response to Gov. Wolf’s plan seems to be lessening the nerves among republican leaders in the House.  Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) introduced a bill of his own (House Bill 2400) that would force the reopening of the construction industry in Pennsylvania as long as they comply with the Center for Disease Control guidelines.  Turzai tweeted the following after Wolf’s announcement:

“Gov. Wolf and I had a positive discussion today; he was open to the suggestion that construction activities could be done safely. Working with him on this issue showed we can move forward together on fighting COVID-19, while rebuilding the economy.” 

A positive sign indeed that perhaps the General Assembly and the Governor will work together more to pull the state out of certain economic hard time ahead.

Hard Budget Times Ahead. Another common ground within the Capitol is the acceptance that passing a state budget will be significantly more challenging following COVID-19.  How we do that, however, remains a sticking point.

The House adopted a bill this week, House Bill 1822, that would freeze spending in several state funds in anticipation that money will be hard to come by.  While none of the funds listed in the bill are of direct concern to the highway construction industry, it did freeze funding to the county conservation districts which are involved in the permitting process for many state highway projects.  It is unknown at this time what the impact of this will be.  We will update you going forward should this bill advance through the Senate and onto the governor.UPDATE! 4/23/20 8:12 AMGOVERNOR WOLF’S COVID-19 REOPENING PHASES

Information provided by 6abc: https://6abc.com/tom-wolf-pa-covid19-pennsylvania/6122781/

Governor Tom Wolf unveils color-coded plan to reopening Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf unveiled a new color-coded plan to help reopen the Commonwealth amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 6abc.com

**More information to follow as it becomes available.

UPDATE! 4/23/20GOVERNOR’S MAY 1 RESTART ANNOUNCEMENT!!From: ASSOCIATED PA CONSTRUCTORS Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 8:55 PM
Subject: Fwd: Governor’s May 1 Restart Announcement  

During this evening’s press briefing, Governor Wolf announced that “all construction” in Pennsylvania will resume on May 1.  We have verified this with PennDOT Central Office.

PennLIve reported that, May 1, construction may commence statewide while other businesses restart is May 8 and on a “phased red, yellow, green plan” based on virus conditions by region.

Tomorrow, the Restart Task Force which includes Chuck Niederriter, Al Hoffman, Scott Grannas and Geoff Clarke will convene to discuss the process of getting ready for restart. We will review the current Restart Guidance document and make revisions as appropriate.

More to follow as soon as we get more details.

UPDATE! 4/21/20

PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR Oks MAY 8TH (ANTICIPATED DATE) CONSTRUCTION START

(ENR News Alert 4/20/20)

(ENR)  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced April 20 that construction can resume in the state May 8, in accordance with safety guidelines that have yet to be released by the governor’s office.  Read it

Attached is a list of additional PennDot Projects release as of 4/20/20.

PennDOT-Critical-Projects-4-20-20-COVID

UPDATE! 4/16/20

This Week in the Capitol…April 16, 2020

Apr 16, 2020 | Advocacy/PoliticsHot TopicNewsThis Week in the CapitolTop Stories |

Not So Fast. The General Assembly sent a bill (Senate Bill 613) to Governor Wolf that would effectively rescind his Executive Order closing all “non-essential businesses” in the Commonwealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor, however, has already said he plans to veto the bill.

We reported last week that we’ve begun to see sharp divides on how the state should move forward following the pandemic. SB 613 passed both the House and Senate along party line votes and Republican legislators said the bill would open up more industries than allowed under the Governor’s order and get Pennsylvanians back to work in a safe manner that complies with guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Governor Wolf, however, responded via a spokesperson saying, “As the administration has stated many times, irresponsibly going against the direction of the Secretary of Health and reopening businesses too early will only extend the length of the economic hardships created by the pandemic.”

So, as a result of this tug-o-war, nothing has changed thus far regarding the business closures throughout the state. Stay tuned as this situation changes daily and more legislation is being developed.

READ MORE: http://www.paconstructors.org/news/this-week-in-the-capitolapril-16-2020/

UPDATE! 4/2/20

This Week in the Capitol…April 2, 2020

Apr 2, 2020 (Associated PA Constructors “APC”)| Advocacy/PoliticsNewsThis Week in the Capitol |

Ghost town.  The halls of the capitol were dark this week as the General Assembly was not in active session and staff were all working from home.  However, some news did bubble up from under the dome.  House Speaker Mike Turzai continued to tout his legislation, House Bill 2400, that would provide a blanket waiver for all public and private construction activities to resume work as long as they adhere to the CDC Coronavirus safety protocols.  GO HERE to see a copy of Rep. Turzai’s press release.  As it pertains to the highway construction industry, the effects of such legislation are unknown given….

Limited Restart. By midweek, PennDOT announced that 61 highway and bridge construction projects are deemed “emergency and critical” and have allowed them to resume under strict safety protocols.  APC has been at the forefront of this effort and has been keeping members updated.  GO HERE to jump to an exclusive page on our website that will provide more information on this limited restart.

Stay at Home. By now everyone is likely aware of the new orders by Governor Wolf that all 67 counties in Pennsylvania are now under a Stay at Home Order through April 30.  GO HERE to view the guidelines on what this order means to you.

Budgetary Impacts. The annual state budget process was humming along until the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.  Now, the state’s fiscal picture is very much a fuzzy mess.  Legislators are scrambling to determine how this will require a reshaping of the FY 2020-21 state fiscal budget.  PA Department of Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell reported that $4.4 billion was collected in March which was 6.2% less than projected.  But, the year-to-date total is only .2% below estimate.  That, however, is likely to change drastically.  In regard to the state highway funds, it was reported that the Motor License Fund received $217.7 million for the month, $6.5 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund — which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues — total $2 billion, which is $21.3 million, or 1 percent, below estimate.

UPDATE! 4/2/20

PHASE 1 CRITICAL PROJECTS LIST as provided by PENNDOT today, April 2, 2020: 

Critical projects 3-31-20 by Dist

UPDATE! 3/31/20 11:06 AM

From: PennDOT Press Office <ra-penndotpress@pa.gov> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:06 AM Subject: Work Continues on PennDOT Emergency and Critical Highway and Bridge Infrastructure Projects

Image   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2020 Work Continues on PennDOT Emergency and Critical Highway and Bridge Infrastructure Projects Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that 61 emergency and critical highway and bridge projects will be active statewide this week. While the normal highway and bridge construction program has paused as the commonwealth addresses COVID-19 response, urgent emergency work has continued to ensure a reliable transportation system as circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continue to unfold. On March 17, in response to Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation guidance, PennDOT paused construction projects statewide to minimize COVID-19 exposure for PennDOT and private-sector employees, as well as the communities where they live and work. “A safe and reliable transportation network is always of the utmost importance, but it becomes even more crucial in times of crisis,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We need to ensure that work continues on these critical projects, and we are taking the proper precautions to help ensure the safety of both our employees and our partners in the industry.” For any work activity addressing critical asset issues, strategies are deployed that include cleanliness protocols for jobsites and offices, social distancing guidelines, procedures to address employee sickness, and the safe handling of material deliveries. The emergency work that continues addresses specific safety need criteria, such as landslide repairs, or critical bridge, tunnel and drainage repairs, and work needed to eliminate roadway restrictions that could impede the ability for the movement of life sustaining goods and services.  Conditions are continuously evaluated to determine the appropriate response. More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov. MEDIA CONTACTS: Alexis Campbell, 717-603-1815 or Erin Waters-Trasatt, 717-364-7787 # # #

If you would rather not receive future communications from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, let us know by clicking here.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 555 Walnut St, 6th Floor Forum Place, Harrisburg, PA 17101 United States.

3/30/20 8:35 AM UPDATE!

From: Robert Latham [mailto:rlatham@paconstructors.org]
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 8:35 AM
Subject: Update

Everyone has probably received all the notices of Federal agencies declaring construction to be essential.  That information is helpful but, not particularly moving Governor Wolf.

I received information Friday indicating that the Governor’s office has informed legislators that all school construction is exempt from the governor’s stop work order for non-essential businesses.  Although this is not reflected on the DCED website.

We still have (as of 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 30, 2020) no definitive direction from PennDOT on either the restart or the April 2 bid opening (13 projects remain on that list).  I received a cryptic note yesterday indicating they are working “working on it all day, every day”.

INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATE! 3/27/20

From: Robert Latham <rlatham@paconstructors.org>
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 2:41 PM
To: Rich Barcaskey <richb@cawp.org>; Jim Davis <jdavis@caoepa.com>; Charles Goodhart <cgoodhart@pa-asphalt.org>; Peter Vlahos <peter@pacaweb.org>; Leeann <leeann@acecpa.org>; John Becker <jbecker@pavement.com>
Subject: Fwd: Email Update

Restart Team Document Submitted

You are no doubt aware that a team including representatives from PennDOT, the PA Turnpike Commission, the PA Division Office of FHWA, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), and the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA), with input from PACA, PAPA, ACPA, CAEP and CAWP have worked collectively and diligently to develop COVID-19 guidance to safely restart heavy highway construction projects in PA. This proposed guidance plan has been completed and will soon be submitted to the governor for review. While we are uncertain of any timeframe, we hope it will be considered as early as sometime next week.

Also, currently, 25 projects are still posted for letting on April 2.  As soon as the letting can be confirmed, information will be posted on ECMS and the APC website. Otherwise, projects will be moved to subsequent letting dates.   Please call APC’s staff with any specific questions.

INDUSTRY NEW UPDATE! 3/26/20

From: Robert Latham <rlatham@paconstructors.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:34 PM
To: Jim Davis <jdavis@caoepa.com>; Barcaskey, Rich <richb@cawp.org>
Subject: FW: Email Update

Restart Team Nearing Completion of Proposed Process

PennDOT and PTC are considering a three-phased approach which would be utilized for restarting projects.

This phased approach allows for COVID19 controls in start-ups and provide continued improvement as additional construction projects are restarted.  The phased restart approach also provides for the use of risk-based inspection and integrates guidelines for achieving social distancing during various operations that normally involve close interaction. More specifically, guidelines for fabrication, materials, testing, and labor compliance are provided. Minimum COVID19 safety standards for use by Department/PA Turnpike and Contractor staff to minimize contract cost adjustments and claims avoidance are also provided. Guidelines would be provided for maintaining facilities for each entity to follow. 

Upon completion of the Phased Implementation and Safety Processes, the plan will be submitted to the Governor’s Office for review and approval. 

Details will be provided as soon as available.

INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATE!!

From: Robert Latham <rlatham@paconstructors.org> Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 1:53 PM
To: Jim Davis <jdavis@caoepa.com>; Barcaskey, Rich <richb@cawp.org>
Subject: Update   We have had some positive movement today on the prospect of return to work and resumption of bid openings.  The Restarting Construction Projects Development Team was reactivated today.  In addition, Roger Drake, Ryan King, Steve Reed, Scott Rocuskie and Kent Wible have been tapped to serve as APC’s Bid Processes Subcommittee working with APC Counsel Jim Kutz.  They will hold an initial virtual meeting tomorrow morning.  Project Delivery Chief Chris Reilly contacted us today and we believe the Department is progressing with establishing bid procedures should a resumption of bidding occur.

Robert E. Latham, CAE

Executive Vice President

Associated PA Constructors

800 North Third Street, Suite 500

Harrisburg, PA 17102

(717) 238-2513 x 102

(717) 649-0056 – cell

www.paconstructors.org

Building Highways, Bridging Communities

UPDATE!! 3/23/20  12:17 p.m.

From: Robert Latham <rlatham@paconstructors.org>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 12:17 PM
To: Joseph Mulvihill <jmulvihill@paconstructors.org>; Jason Wagner <jwagner@paconstructors.org>; Kimberly Maiolo <kmaiolo@paconstructors.org>
Cc: Jim Davis <jdavis@caoepa.com>
Subject: For Posting On APC Website

Attachments:  Governor Wolf 3-21-2020    Turzai Governor Wolf Highway Construction 3-21-20

Update on Highway Construction Project Shutdown

Over the weekend APC staff worked in concert with all of our association partners to advocate for a return to work order.  We have reached out to all four caucuses of the General Assembly and we sent the (see attached) letter to the Governor.  Also Saturday, House Speaker Mike Turzai sent a letter (see attached) to Governor Wolf urging him to restart highway projects.  This letter was referenced during a news conference with the governor Sunday evening.   It’s a fluid situation and we will provide any updates as they come in.

Meanwhile, please review the guidance provided by PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission regarding maintaining existing projects during the shutdown.  Please contact APC staff if we can help with questions or clarification of the guidelines.

Robert E. Latham, CAE

Executive Vice President

Associated PA Constructors

800 North Third Street, Suite 500

Harrisburg, PA 17102

(717) 238-2513 x 102

(717) 649-0056 – cell

www.paconstructors.org

EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2020, THE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA’S (CAEP) OFFICE IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AS PER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR WOLFE’S DIRECTIVE OF MANDATORY SHUTDOWN DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

Please check the website for updates.

The staff will be available to answer any questions via email:

James Davis jdavis@caoepa.com

Diana Perez dperez@caoepa.com

Samantha Schultz sschultz@caoepa.com