Holiday Round-Up: 2019 Construction Moratoriums

Steve Rodriguez

Posted by Steve Rodriguez

Across the country, municipalities limit construction activity, building permit issuances, or street closures during certain dates and times through November and December. This is done to promote full access to retail stores, restaurants and other businesses by the public. Each municipality has its own dates, types of work prohibited, and exception policies.

Below, we’ve collected information from our office locations with active construction moratoriums this winter so that your team can be prepared for any schedule changes.

New York City

According to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), this winter’s Holiday Construction Embargo will limit work from 6 a.m. Friday, November 15th, 2018 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, January 2nd, 2020.

The Holiday Construction Embargo prohibits all routine work on the street during the embargo period unless special approval is granted by the NYCDOT’s Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination (OCMC). Utility cover openings are also restricted.

The embargo does not apply to emergency work, however, an emergency number must be obtained from NYCDOT prior to any work.

Please note, the deadline for submission of permit applications for work during the HE period ended on Thursday, October 31, 2019. After the deadline, permit applications for work during the HE period can only be submitted in person, and will only be accepted under special circumstances.  

A map of the affected locations is available here.

City of Chicago

The City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Office of Underground Coordination has issued this year’s moratorium beginning at the easternmost point of North Avenue to Lake Michigan, west on North Avenue to Halsted Street; then south on Halsted Street to Roosevelt Road, and east on Roosevelt Road to its easternmost point extending to Lake Michigan. 

No street openings or traffic obstructions, except for emergencies shall be allowed within the  designated area from Friday, November 22th, 2019 at 4 p.m. until Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. unless issued emergency approval.

All existing permits are revoked during this time and any special permit exemptions must be approved by CDOT and the Division of Infrastructure Management - Permit Section. After January 2nd, 2020 through April 1st, 2020, work remains subject to snow removal/control rules.

City of Los Angeles

Yearly Holiday Restrictions are in effect from Monday, November 25, 2019 to Wednesday, January 1, 2020 for selected streets within the City of Los Angeles. This document includes Moratorium restrictions and limitations. During this time, the City of Los Angeles prohibits construction work in the public right of way including lane closures, unless the project is approved for a Holiday Moratorium Exemption (HME.)

In some cases, these holiday restrictions may be waived for short-term work such as a service connection, a public safety emergency or for an activity the Council District deems "Business Friendly" or a necessity. 

City of Denver

This season, the City of Denver’s Holiday Construction Moratorium is in effect from Thursday, November 21, 2019, to Wednesday, January 1, 2020. The Denver Public Works Department will not issue right of way permits for new construction work during this time for streets in the Central Business District, Cherry Creek retail area including The Shops at Northfield, North Tennyson Street Business District and the Lower Highlands Business Area (16th Street & Central Street). Exceptions must be approved by the City Traffic Engineer and are considered based on the activity’s potential impact.

Active and permitted construction work is allowed to continue during the moratorium but limitations may apply including reduced working hours, smaller work zones, and restrictions on some work activities as per the Department of Public Work’s memo.

City of San Francisco

The yearly City of San Francisco Holiday Moratorium is in effect from Monday, December 2, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m in downtown San Francisco and any areas zoned as a business block.

Waiver requests are permitted, however approval by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and adjacent property and business owners is required. SFMTA approval must be obtained prior to contacting any members of the public.

City of San Jose 

As per the San Jose Department of Transportation’s memo, this year’s restrictions are active Friday, November 22, 2019, to Thursday, January 9, 2020 for the downtown area bounded by E Julian Street, Little Market Street, Bassett Street, Terraine Street, W Julian Street, Stockton Avenue, W Santa Clara Street, San Fernando Street, Delmas Avenue, Highway 280 & 11th Street. Permits for street or lane closures will not be issued for the duration of the moratorium.

As always, the Burnham Nationwide team is available to answer any questions on moratorium procedures or to assist with the application process for waivers in our offices throughout the country.

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