Senator Bartolotta Supports Waivers to Reopen PA’s Construction Industry

HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) is supporting legislation that would allow construction activities to resume in Pennsylvania if businesses take appropriate mitigation steps to prevent exposure to COVID-19.

The legislation supported by Bartolotta would require the Department of Community and Economic Development to issue waivers for public and private construction activities that adhere to social distancing practices and other mitigation measures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The Governor’s business closure order has idled thousands of construction workers and adversely impacted the well-being of their families. In fact, Pennsylvania is the only state to shut down all active public and private construction sites as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. While New Jersey, California, Illinois and New York have issued shelter-in-place orders, those states provide exemptions for construction personnel and construction activities.

Unfinished construction projects create public health and safety hazards that will increase as the sites are exposed to the elements while also compromising the integrity of building materials and adding additional financial costs to all parties involved.

Senator Bartolotta said the closure order not only impacts construction companies, but could also have long-term impacts on state funds, as hundreds of millions in taxpayers’ dollars may be required to cover the costs of “delay claims” that PennDOT will be contractually obligated to pay idled construction companies.

Senate Republican leaders also sent a letter to Governor Wolf yesterday encouraging him to allow construction activities to resume. 

CONTACT:   Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463