Boston Mayor Martin Walsh imposed a temporary ban on all construction effective March 17 in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Boston Herald reported.
The freeze applies to constructions sites both large and small in the city and will be in place for 14 days.
“This is a difficult decision to make,” Walsh said at a press conference. “Construction is the core of our economy.”
The city has currently reported 33 cases of the coronavirus within its limits, according to the report.
The Associated General Contractors of America issued a statement against construction bans during the pandemic.
“Halting construction activity will do more harm than good for construction workers, community residents and the economy,” AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr stated. “Construction firms are already acting to ensure the safety and health of their employees in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. These new measures, which include increased hygiene and halting group gatherings of staff, are in addition to the fact that construction workers already wear protective equipment, including gloves that will help protect them and their coworkers.”
Sandherr added that such bans would deprive workers of wages and had the potential to bankrupt construction firms that have contractual obligations to stay on schedule or risk financial penalties.
“In the unfortunate event that construction is halted, we urge construction owners to consider continuing their scheduled payments to contractors as a down payment for work to be completed on the project,” Sandherr added. “These payments will help mitigate some of the potential economic impacts of construction shutdowns.”