City of Cambridge Releases Amended Temporary Emergency Construction Order

The City of Cambridge has released an amended Temporary Emergency Construction Order that applies to all construction activity on both public and private property in Cambridge. Under this Emergency Order, the City will only allow construction activity that complies with the provisions of the Order, the MA Sector Specific Workplace Safety Standards for Construction Sites, the MA Safety Standards, and the MA COVID-19 Checklist issued on May 18, 2020. Additionally, the City has established a new four-phased approach for resuming existing construction permits will begin on May 25, 2020, and approving of applications for new building permits will tentatively begin on June 29, 2020.

“Over the past five weeks, the City Manager’s Construction Advisory Group met and collaborated on how to bring back construction in Cambridge safely,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I want to thank the Advisory Group for assisting in the development of the amended emergency regulations which complement the State’s guidelines. Making sure these new guidelines reflect that the health and safety of construction workers and our residents was the top priority of the Advisory Group.”

The 23 member Construction Advisory Group was comprised of representatives from public health, building trade unions, inspectional and public works officials, contractors, development project managers, and universities.

In addition to the stringent safety guidelines required by the State, all contractors will need to submit to the Inspectional Services Department or Department of Public Works, as appropriate, a COVID-19 Control Plan for Cambridge on permitted projects. This plan will require:

  •  A cleaning and decontamination checklist; The number of workers expected on the job site; and
  •  No non-essential personnel may be present at the worksite.
  •  Additionally, contractors will be encouraged, and in some cases required, to conduct a site-specific risk analysis and enhanced COVID-19 safety plan for more complex projects.

As previously announced on May 18, the City of Cambridge will expand currently allowed construction activity in the City in four phases*:

  • Phase 1, beginning May 25, will add site safety prep work for projects previously permitted by Inspectional Services (ISD) and Public Works (DPW). Forthcoming amendments to the City’s Temporary Emergency Construction Order issued on March 18 will modify the definition of essential construction to include work associated with COVID-19 restaurant modification needed to allow them to safely reopen;
  • Phase 2, beginning on June 1, will add horizontal construction, city building projects, 100% affordable housing developments, larger buildings (over 25,000 square feet) previously permitted by ISD or DPW;
  • Phase 3, beginning on June 15, will add all remaining existing construction previously permitted by ISD and DPW;
  • Phase 4a, beginning on June 22, will add new permits for horizontal construction, roof, solar, siding, asbestos, and trade permits including plumbing, gas, mechanical, sheet metal, electrical and sprinkler. Permits may be submitted, and pre-reviews will occur at any time, but permits will not be formally accepted or issued until this date; and
  • Phase 4b, beginning June 29, will add new Building Permits (addition/alteration, new construction, demolition).  Permits may be submitted, and pre-reviews will occur at any time, but permits will not be formally accepted or issued until this date.

*Updated on June 16, 2020


For more information about the Amended Temporary Emergency Construction Order or to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

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Page was posted on 5/21/2020 1:45 PM
Page was last modified on 6/16/2020 10:37 AM
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