Written By: Mike Lopez

As we head into the home stretch of 2019, we are also heading into the final stages of our restoration projects. Some projects are coming to a clean close, and some are “at risk” of extending into 2020 as a result of weather, unforeseen conditions, or even late starts. Although completing a project after its anticipated deadline is not optimal, it happens. When this occurs, we must keep in mind seasonal limitations for our projects in the five boroughs; as construction projects are putting the pedal to the metal to complete work before the cold weather arrives, New York is gearing up for “the most wonderful time of year.”

Aside from the ice and snow, a significant seasonal restriction to be aware of is the New York City Department ofTransportation’s “Holiday Construction Embargo.” This regulation limits and often prohibits work from taking place in the “Holiday Construction Embargo” zones, unless for emergency or previously approved work. In our niche, this means that we must plan far ahead when involved in DOT related work, such as sidewalk repairs, sidewalk replacements, and work on various street closures. Permits must be requested ahead of time, and thorough and detailed reasoning must be provided to explain why the work is necessary. The DOT reviews the requests and charges fees, which can delay the project schedule and increase costs. To avoid these potential headaches, it is important to be proactive and schedule work accordingly.

To find out if your building will be affected or is located in a construction embargo zone, you can visit the NYC DOT’s official website. They have curated a handy interactive map that can be used to find this information by simply entering a building’s block and lot number or address, or scrolling around to find your building.

This regulation goes into effect starting 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2020.  Even if your building is located in the embargo zone, make sure to find out if the work will be affected by the regulation or not.  For example, it is a common misconception that sidewalk sheds cannot be removed during this timeframe. When scaffolding teams are removing sidewalk sheds, they occupy the majority of the sidewalk and street, so a lot of people assume a permit is required. However, that is not the case! We recently spoke to a scaffolding contractor, and he confirmed that sidewalk shed removals are not affected by the holiday embargo.

While you are tying up the loose ends of your project, make sure to keep the Holiday Construction Embargo” in mind and plan accordingly.

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