Governor Signs "Stay at Home" Order: What This Means For Construction

Idaho AGC

Yesterday, (March 26th), Governor Brad Little held a press conference during which he announced a 21-day "stay home" order.  Several hours later, the Governor's office issued the details of the 21-day stay home order, including the list of those industries that fall under the “Essential Services” category.

You may view the Order in its entirely AT THIS LINK, but for your convenience, here are the parts specifically relevant to construction entities:

For the purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of essential infrastructure, including, but not limited to:

  • Public works construction
  • Commercial construction and the transfer and selling thereof
  • Construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness) and the transfer and selling thereof
  • Airport operations
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Gas
  • Electrical
  • Oil refining
  • Mining
  • Roads and highways
  • Public transportation
  • Solid waste collection and removal
  • Internet; and
  • Telecommunication systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, telecommunications relay service, and web-based services),
  • provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements as defined in this section, to the extent possible.

In addition, we have been in regular contact with ACHD and ITD both prior to and after the Governor’s Order. 

ACHD: Director Wong stated that while most ACHD office staff are being asked to work from home, inspectors and other support personnel will remain available to complete their work on construction sites across the county. Contractors wanting or needing to delay may choose to do so. In those cases ACHD will waive all penalties and fees and work with the contractor to re-establish a new timetable. Director Wong is aware that some of his staff have received mixed messages on this front and he is working to get that corrected.

ITD: Chief Engineer Blake Rindlisbacher reported that ITD remains "open for business" in regards to construction. Almost all office staff have been sent home and many will continue to work remotely, but not all have that capability. He pointed out that "every step is being taken to ensure that the central lab remains open." This involves working in shifts and other measures. Rindlisbacher requested that contractors work directly with the R.E. on their project to ensure that ITD resources (inspectors, etc.) can be lined up as much in advance as possible.

Both agencies noted that with people working from home we should anticipate delays in receiving permits, plan reviews, and the like. While this office work will continue, it will be done at a slower pace in multiple locations - some with limited internet connections. So please be patient with everyone.

We are getting reports of some city and county building inspectors being ordered to stay home. We are working with the state to provide more clear instructions to these localities on the need to allow field staff to continue to operate. Stay tuned on this front.

The Idaho AGC will continue to pass along information as it develops. Stay safe and let us know if you need anything.

Wayne Hammon