How the pandemic benefited local construction projects

WWNY How the pandemic benefited local construction projects

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As the COVID-19 shutdown put seemingly everything on pause, one thing actually sped up - construction.

Of all the bad things that have come of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a silver lining in the form of caution tape and traffic cones.

“With the COVID issue, there wasn’t much traffic and we were shut down in March and April, so construction got ahead of itself, which is great,” said Clayton Mayor Norma Zimmer.

While everything was on pause, construction projects were able to move faster. Clayton’s project to reconfigure downtown sidewalks and power lines is several weeks ahead of schedule.

“Right now they are doing sidewalks and the underground vaults are all in. So we’re pretty excited about where we are at,” said Zimmer.

And at Hermon-DeKalb Central School, in-person teaching ended back in March, which benefited the district’s $15 million capital project.

“We were basically able to start this project in April. It allowed us to make some of these improvements in the building this year, versus waiting for next summer,” said Mark White, district superintendent.

The project has met all of the deadlines to reopen school on Tuesday and it’s ahead on other aspects that weren’t slated to start for another year.

But because construction projects are moving so quickly during the pandemic, demand for supplies has been through the roof.

“We’ve run into consistently not being able to get materials on time. The length of time to get materials and some of the specific equipment has been a real challenge,” said White.

But he says he’s happy to see the project chugging along at such an unexpected pace.

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