COVID-19 Pandemic Dictating Construction Agenda

By Gary Botzek
 
With the early spring and lot of work on the books, the 2020 construction season started fast and looked strong. But just like a punch to the gut all the air was taken out of our engines and we are now doing construction with social distancing.
 
The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) continues to follow the national efforts as well as the states. They have just posted an updated (April 24) Exposure-Prevent document on their website that you may wish to use.
 
The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) is another good source for checking what is going on at both the federal level and state level. The NCMA continues to work on getting the concrete block check off promotional program implemented nationally.
 
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is active at the federal and state levels and are keeping their/our members up to speed on rules and regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Go to these three websites for more information on the COVID-19 situation and how it continues to directly affect the construction industry.
 
The early spring and light traffic have allowed for earlier and faster highway and street construction this year. Less traffic but more deaths on the roads due to increased speeding! Less gas tax revenue being collected due to less driving miles will soon mean less highway road construction dollars as already reported in the newspaper on April 27. Governor Walz proposed a gas tax increase last legislative session, but the bill did not pass. With gas at around $1.00 per gallon most people would not notice an increase. The measure is not expected to pass this session either. Adjournment is set for around May 21.
 
April 27 marked “Back to Work” day for 80,00-100,000 Minnesotans, according to Governor Walz’s executive order. The “Stay at Home” order was extended until May 18. Additionally 30,000 more Minnesotans back to work. The federal government is committing trillions of dollars to keep the economy afloat. Getting people back to work safely is the plan, but a difficult and expensive one to pull off. The U.S. national debt is moving toward $29,000,000,000,000 and once we beat the virus and get everyone back to work the country will have to implement a plan to reduce that debt or we will be facing another recession!