Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo temporarily banned all non-essential construction statewide, as part of his “pause” executive order. The updated order allows only emergency construction, or work “necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants” to occur during the coronavirus pandemic. To track projects that are considered essential in New York City during this time, the city’s Department of Buildings on Friday launched an interactive map that identifies sites where work can continue.
Originally, the state classified construction as an essential business. But workers and public officials raised concerns about allowing work on residential and commercial buildings to continue. Last week, construction was temporarily halted at two major public projects led by the governor, at LaGuardia Airport and the Moynihan Train Hall, after two workers were diagnosed with the virus, as The Real Deal reported.
According to the state’s revised executive order, essential construction projects may include work on roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. These sites must still maintain social distancing practices and companies will face a fine up to $10,000 for every safety violation.
The map tracks in real-time essential projects, as well as emergency work, like restoring heat and electricity. It does not map construction work that is outside of the DOB’s authority, like MTA or Port Authority projects.
The map will be updated daily based on data received through inspections and requests for projects to be considered essential. The agency said it is regularly inspecting sites to make sure compliance with the temporary ban is being met.
“To help keep New Yorkers safe during these uncertain times, we will be out in force to confirm non-essential sites have been closed down, and essential construction work continues in a safe manner,” DOB Commission Melanie La Rocca said in a press release. “At the same time, this real-time map will provide the public with greater transparency about ongoing construction across the city.”
Explore the essential construction map here.
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