Construction projects in Menlo Park must stop immediately, a March 19 statement from the city said following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide shelter-at-home order that took effect March 17 in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Exceptions will be made for construction projects deemed “essential” by City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson, the city’s statement said.
“Active construction sites are instructed to secure their site and cease all further work immediately,” the city said. “Only activities necessary to address immediate health and safety concerns, as determined by the City Manager/Emergency Services Director, are allowed. This action is not taken lightly and is out of extreme concern for the health and safety of construction workers and city employees.”
The governor's shelter-at-home order last week called on all individuals to stay home as much as possible, with the exception of performing basic or essential functions.
Menlo Park's March 13 ongoing construction newsletter listed 21 construction project descriptions, including developments by Menlo Park-based tech company Facebook and Stanford University, among others. The city's most recent construction newsletter, released March 20, had no project descriptions, saying, "Only essential infrastructure construction is proceeding."
In a statement released Tuesday, March 24, the city provided further detail on the construction suspension. The statement described special regard for government water and wastewater projects, saying that they may be allowed but only after approval by the city manager and when done with proper social distancing.
Jerome-Robinson will regularly review the construction halt order, the statement said, and she may modify it as the rapidly changing coronavirus response unfolds over the coming weeks.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.