Construction in Boston Suspended, No Plans to Shut Down Construction State-Wide

Update: At a press conference on March 17, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker commented that “We have no plans at this point to shut down construction state-wide.”

Boston – In a news briefing on March 16, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that, as of March 17, all regular activity on construction sites in the city of Boston will be suspended.

All sites should maintain their crews to keep their sites safe and secure. All sites need to be safe from anyone on the site or near the site. Materials need to be secured down to keep them from blowing away in the wind or any other issue that might occur. Securing measures should be taken to prevent any trespassing. All this work will need to be done by Monday, March 23.

After the sites are made safe, skeleton crews will be permitted for the remainder of the suspension to ensure construction sites remain safe and secure. “I encourage smaller, especially structures on wood frames, to have security on their projects to protect their building from fires and other potential safety issues. The only work ahead moving forward in the city is emergency work approved by the city of Boston special sheriff’s department,” said Walsh. “I want to remind Boston employers that we are in a robust construction market. Boston is home to a talented, hard-working construction workforce and when we get back to business as usual, employers need to bring these workers back, and the right thing we need to do right now is to lay them off and not fire them.”

Essential work includes the following:

  • emergency utility, road or building work, such as gas leaks, water leaks and sinkholes
  • new utility connections to occupied buildings
  • mandated building or utility work
  • work at public health facilities, healthcare facilities, shelters, including temporary shelters and other facilities that support vulnerable populations
  • work which ensures the reliability of the transportation network, and
  • other work necessary to render occupied residential buildings fully habitable.

In addition to the list of essential construction projects, the city will, on a case-by-case basis, review requests for exceptions to the temporary construction moratorium.  These may be granted by the commissioner of inspectional services for building-related work or the commissioner of public works for street-related work. These will be granted if they support increased public health and safety.

This policy is effective as of March 17 and will be reviewed at regular intervals. New projects cannot be started at this time unless they meet the criteria above.  Any currently permitted and active construction project must be in a secure situation by Monday, March 23. This policy only applies to projects permitted by the city of Boston.

The mayor expects to provide an update in a couple of weeks. For the full news brief, visit For more information on the city of Boston’s Covid19 emergency, visit

Updates to this report and more information can be found on the AGC MA, “COVID-19 Resource Page.” .