MARCH 25, 2020

Much of construction is shut down
in recent Governor’s order

Click here
to see new guidance released this evening by the Governor.

Based on this new guidance regarding construction, what we know is this:

WSDOT will suspend most of its operations, effective end of day tomorrow, based on a telecon we just held with WSDOT officials. The few exceptions are fish passages, per the Supreme Court’s injunction, and projects needed for safety matters (determined on project by project basis). WSDOT will be sending or has sent a memorandum to its contractors with additional information. This is contrary to information AGC sent out yesterday; WSDOT was planning to proceed with all projects, but apparently this was subsequently overruled by the Governor.

Local governments (and this appears to include school districts) will have the authority to make determinations about the public infrastructure construction within their jurisdictions. Before this new guidance from the Governor, we had contacted many local governments, and most indicated they are proceeding with construction work. This new guidance does not seem to give them any reasons to change their minds, but at this point we can’t be definitive with regard to what individual jurisdictions will do – please be in contact with your local government clients.

Commercial construction is largely shut down, except to support essential services such as IT infrastructure. As best we understand it, for example, data centers would be allowed to proceed, but not necessarily an office building being constructed by a tech company. There may still be some gray area here, but the main point is that construction can proceed if it supports an essential function of an essential industry, not simply any function. Please be in contact with your clients.

Residential construction (except for publicly funded low-income housing) will not be allowed except as it relates to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity, and any residential construction that may be related to the provision of other essential services.

This guidance will be in effect for the duration of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, currently slated to end Apr. 6, although the Governor has stated he may extend it if circumstances warrant.

AGC has worked hard with many partners over the last few days to urge the Governor to keep construction going as long as it can be done safely, and we worked hard to provide safety guidance and information to help ensure that it can be. We are disappointed in the Governor’s decision, but we also realize that the health of citizens and our workforce is paramount.

In the meantime, we will continue to work with the Governor’s office to help get construction going as soon as possible.

We will continue to refine COVID-19 safety guidance. 

We will continue to provide members with as much information as we can regarding important programs such as unemployment insurance and business loans. 

We will answer your questions as best as we can, and we urge you to visit our COVID-19 Contractors' Resource page.

Stay safe!

David D'Hondt
Executive Vice President
AGC of Washington

AGC of Washington, 1200 Westlake Avenue N, Suite 301, SEATTLE, WA 98109-3528, United States

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