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Alaska: The Official Stance for Construction

Construction Status: Essential

With the sudden rise of infection in the United States, the state authorities on April 4, 2020, had an immediate take on the situation in Alaska. Initially, it was announced that all construction except the critical infrastructure will be discontinued along with a Statewide Stay at Home Order in effect.

However, the critical infrastructure activities included housing work, public works construction, water supply, and activities associated with electrical, gas operations, and sewer.

But the updated information as on April 14, 2020, deemed construction as an essential activity. After that, the recent orders on phased opening have been introduced by the Governor Dunleavy effective from May 22, 2020.

Besides this, the most recent executive order released as a health mandate on June 6, 2020 has many amendments and updates on travel, health, and safety. Though there are no hard rules on wearing masks, practicing distancing, reducing gatherings, and running tests for mild symptoms, etc.

October 2020 Update: Since the entire United States is slowly progressing towards reopening, the state of Alaska has also started to progress in the field of construction. Giving a boon to construction jobs, the Alaska Congressional Delegation has announced a $21 billion project with grant for Anchorage International Airport. Also, widening the space for public projects, Alaska Energy Authority has announced a 190,000 square foot climate-controlled cold storage facility in regard to the cargo shipments at the airport. Overall, the position of construction industry is improving in the state.

Governing Body: Statewide Stay at Home Order

FAQs: Alaska Construction Updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic

How construction industry is addressed by the authorities?

The orders issued by the authorities have specifically marked commercial construction or Public works construction as essential. However, it will be necessary to comply with all the rules and guidelines related to safety and cleaning at the site.

However, the statewide orders have also confirmed that residential construction can be considered as an essential infrastructure activity.

Apart from this, the safety guidelines have also provisioned that employees or workers who need to travel across or within the state need to submit a safety protocol as a matter of public concern.

How the orders from the authorities address Building Material Suppliers?

Anchorage orders have been issued for the hardware stores which states that businesses that are permitted to open must align with the safety guidelines and social distancing rules.

Are there any specific Jobsite Rules/Protocols?

Though no specific job site rules or protocols are issued by the Government, construction firms need to have strategies in place to keep the workers protected. For small builders or contractors, there are certain common safe working guidelinesthat can be followed. Moreover, the builder’s risk guidelines could be followed to plan a better counter-strategy against COVID-19 while continuing work at the job site.

How Construction could be kept open amid COVID-19?

The State of Alaska has deemed construction to be an essential service. However, a major focus needs to be kept on the safety checks and health guidelines. For instance, large construction sites can plan for screening stations at the sites while working on social distancing practices and sanitation.

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