One day after being ordered to halt all construction activity in Pennsylvania to curb COVID-19's spread, state contractors are complying. with enforcement set to start on March 21, while remaining hopeful that certain critical projects can be restarted promptly.

Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation on March 19 to order all construction activity to stop as part of a sweeping measure to cease operation of all "non-life sustaining businesses."  

The order issued by Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) immediately stopped thousands of construction sites across the state.

“It’s a whirlwind right now trying to get projects closed up today,” Seth Myers, an executive vice president with Allan Myers, a Worcester, Pennsylvania, contractor, said in an email on March 20. "Planning and conference calls started last night after the governor made his announcement.”

Allan Myers ranked 8th on ENR MidAtlantic's most recent Top Contractors ranking, reporting more than $168 million worth of work in Pennsylvania in 2018.

"Although very painful and disruptive the shutdown of all construction businesses in Pennsylvania will save lives," says Robert Cottone, president and CEO of IMC Construction Inc., which ranked 18th on the ENR MidAtlantic's most recent Top Contractor list, performing more than $400 million worth of work in Pennsylvania during 2018. The Malvern, Pa. contractor is currently working on 10 projects in Pennsylvania.

While the governor's order halted all heavy/civil and building projects, along with all specialty trade work, a chart released by the governor’s office stated that “in extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or servicing health-care providers.” But shortly after the order was given, industry members didn't have a clear picture of how to apply for exemptions and what the criteria will be.  

Seven ongoing IMC projects in the state are in the healthcare sector, including hospitals and medical office buildings. READ MORE AT ENR.COM.