Construction to Resume in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania on May 1, 2020

Construction Site in Pennsylvania with man working on roofSafety Restrictions Will Be In Place On Construction Sites

On Monday, April 27, 2020, the City of Pittsburgh announced that it would allow construction activity to resume on Friday, May 1, 2020, after the hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While you might be ready to resume activities or to break ground for the first time, the resumption of construction activities does contain certain restrictions for the time being. Those restrictions are discussed in guidance issued by the City of Pittsburgh and by Governor Wolf.

Construction Restrictions

Some construction restrictions contained in Governor Wolf’s guidance:

  • Every person present at a worksite must wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable for medical or safety reasons;
  • Businesses must establish protocols upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high-risk transmission areas
  • Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or worksite, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site;
  • Residential construction projects may not permit more than four individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity; and,
  • For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site.

Governor Wolf’s guidance further recommends that commercial construction firms strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site-specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer. It is important to note that local governments may impose more stringent restrictions on construction than the recommendations from the Governor’s office.

Restrictions On Construction in a Pittsburgh

The City’s guidance includes recommendations issued by Governor Wolf on April 23, 2020. The City of Pittsburgh’s guidance provides the following information for work in a public right-of-way.

  • All permit holders who suspended work must submit adjusted dates prior to resuming construction by contacting DOMIpermits@pittsburghpa.gov with the permit number and anticipated restart date.
  • Applications for new permits for construction in the right-of-way can be found online at https://pittsburghpa.gov/domi/right-of-way
  • Right-of-way permits will join OneStopPGH on May 11. To assist in the transition to the new permit system, all permit applications received after May 6th OR with a planned start date later than May 24th will be processed in OneStopPGH.
  • OneStopPGH will utilize the City Council-approved 2020 ROW Fee Schedule.
  • Enforcement of “No Parking” signs is limited given the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. Applicants utilizing authorized “No Parking” signs should review additional guidelines online during continued stay-at-home orders.

Meanwhile, for structural work, the City’s guidelines are as follows:

  • PLI temporary COVID-19 procedures are published here: https://pittsburghpa.gov/pli/index.html;
  • These procedures include special job-site requirements for PLI inspector safety.
  • Inspection requests will only be accepted through the OneStopPGH portal.
  • Permits will begin to be issued May 1, 2020. Given the current backlog, it may take several business days to issue all permits in the queue.
  • PLI maintains full service at the OneStopPGH portal.
  • Please refer to OneStopPGH tutorials for information on how to navigate the website.

If you have any questions about whether your business may resume construction activities in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to call the experienced legal team at the Lynch Law Group.

Author:
David C. Weber concentrates his practice on a range of complex commercial litigation matters, including construction, insurance bad faith litigation and employment issues. He can be reached at (724) 776-8000 or dweber@lynchlaw-group.com.
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