City Scoop: Boston
With jobsite productivity decreased by COVID-19 regulations such as staggered shifts and social distancing, scheduling “is going to separate the strong companies from the weak,” MacKay says. “If you don’t know how to schedule work properly, you will have a tough time succeeding in today’s market. Before, when you needed to accelerate a contract, you could throw crews at a project to get it done.”
Fortunately, MacKay says his firm’s backlog is “strong” and proposal requests “are still very consistent.” While social distancing is submarining the restaurant and retail sectors, “road work and utilities have been steady due to the low traffic counts and consistent infrastructure backlog,” he says.
Although Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh was the first leader of a large U.S. city to ban construction because of the coronavirus, MacKay notes, that “he was also the first to open back up in the area.”
“It’s hard to put an exact timeline on” the recovery, McKay says, but he thinks that “with the city’s support,” the industry will settle into the “new normal” in about a year from now.