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​COVID-19 Guidance Restarting Construction Projects

Revised April 24, 2020A

Click here for the original guidance issued March 30, 2020.

Click here to download this information in PDF format.

Table of Contents:


The COVID-19 virus has introduced unprecedented challenges to our nation and the Commonwealth, including the local communities which we all serve. As per Governor Wolf's orders beginning March 12, 2020, decisive mitigation actions were taken by the Commonwealth, the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the PA Turnpike Commission to slow the virus's spread in an effort to protect citizens, employees, and business partners alike. In conjunction with the Governor's order, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission quickly placed construction projects on hold, first regionally and then statewide to minimize exposure for agency, private-sector employees, and residents of the communities where they live and work.

In the days immediately following the temporary construction suspension, at the direction of PennDOT Acting Secretary and PA Turnpike Chair Yassmin Gramian, P.E., PennDOT, the PA Turnpike Commission, and the PA Office of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) began an effort to work with our industry partners on solutions to restarting construction projects with a focus of avoiding the spread of COVID-19. A team including representatives from PennDOT, the PA Turnpike Commission, the PA Division Office of FHWA, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) have worked collectively and diligently to develop COVID-19 guidance to restart highway construction.

This document provides guidance for use by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission in restarting construction projects that were temporarily suspended in response to COVID-19 mitigation.

Section 1: COVID-19 Guidance: Phased-In Process for Restarting Construction Projects


The first goal in restarting construction projects is to protect our customers, employees, and their families. The second is to do the best we can to serve the millions of Pennsylvanians who are looking to us to complete needed infrastructure work.


Phased Restart

The Department of Transportation (Department) and the PA Turnpike will use a phased approach to restart projects. The phased approach allows for specific criteria and/or control in restarting temporarily suspended projects. Contractors will be notified via letter from the Department/PA Turnpike when the temporary suspension is ended.

  • Phase 0 (also known as Phase Zero, ZeroB1, and ZeroB2): Restart projects that meet strict criteria as Emergency or Critical. These projects address specific safety need criteria, such as landslide repairs, or critical bridge, tunnel and drainage repairs, and work needed to eliminate roadway restrictions that could impede the ability for the movement of life sustaining goods and services.
  • Phase 1: Restart many remaining projects beginning on May 1, 2020 in accordance with the Governor's April 23, 2020 Construction Guidance.
  • Phase 2: Restart all remaining projects not included in Phase 0 and Phase 1.

Project Restart Process

  1. Management from the Department/PA Turnpike will contact Contractor/Consultant staff for restart and Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan guidelines to restart projects. Communication can occur via phone and will be followed up with written correspondence submitted through a Project Collaboration System.
  2. The Contractor/Consultant shall determine staff available to work as requested and confirm start date with Department/PA Turnpike.
  3. The Contractor/Consultant shall reference the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan Implementation to address project specific COVID-19 and social distancing and submit to the Department/PA Turnpike for review and acceptance. Work cannot start until supplemental plan is accepted by the Department/PA Turnpike.
  4. The Contractor/Consultant shall perform all necessary planning, supervision, and training activities to ensure all requirements of the accepted Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan are fully met for all workers employed in the construction contract.
  5. The Department/PA Turnpike and the Contractor/Consultant shall hold a virtual restart progress meeting prior to work starting (at a minimum discuss and document the following items).
    1. Outline steps to evaluate effectiveness of the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan (recommend daily discussions between the Department/PA Turnpike and Contractor/Consultant Staff).
    2. Discuss with the Department/PA Turnpike Risk-Based Inspection guidelines and process that will reduce interaction and achieve social distancing.
    3. Discuss changes to Fabrication, Materials, Testing, and Labor Compliance guidelines and processes to be utilized by the Department/PA Turnpike, Consultant, and Contractor during construction operations.
    4. The Department/PA Turnpike and Contractor shall identify construction operations that are dependent on personnel from other local, state and Federal agencies to be on-site for inspections and coordination. Reference Guidance for Other Agency Participation in the Construction Restart.
    5. Review communication method for issues encountered during project operations. Reference Contract Cost Adjustments and Claims Avoidance Section.
    6. Review planned work that may present challenges to follow the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan, including if any of these challenges are expected to lead to a request for additional payment.
  6. Schedule submissions should follow the time frames outlined in the Contract Cost Adjustments and Claims Avoidance Section.
  7. The Department/PA Turnpike and Contractor/Consultant will evaluate the effectiveness of the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan and document lessons learned to be incorporated into other projects.
  8. The Department/PA Turnpike shall work jointly with the Contractor/Consultant to consider appropriate means for minimizing Contract Cost Adjustments and Claims Avoidance.
  9. The Department/PA Turnpike, Consultant, and Contractor shall follow the Guidelines for Occupying Facilities as it pertains to each entity.
  10. PennDOT documents referenced and not included with this guidance are available for viewing in the PennDOT Project Collaboration Center (PPCC) for Department projects, and these documents are available for viewing in Kahua for PA Turnpike projects.

Section 2: Guidance for the following operations as referenced in Section 1

Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan Implementation

  1. Contractors and consultants will be required to submit a Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan containing the following minimum items before starting/restarting construction projects:
    1. Identify Designated Representative (Title and/or Name)
      1. Responsible for compliance.
      2. Identify procedure which the designated representative will implement to screen employees for potential COVID-19 exposure.
    2. Personal (Employee) Responsibilities
        • Company policy addressing employee hygiene, illness or COVID-19 exposure.
    3. Social Distancing
    4. Jobsite/Office Best Practices
      1. Project site cleaning protocol.
      2. Operation specific protocols as needed where social distancing is not feasible (i.e., Engineered solution or other methodology to comply with CDC Guidelines).
    5. Managing Sick Employees
      1. Process addressing employees that develop potential COVID-19 symptoms while at work (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
      2. Process for managing employees before returning to work.
      3. Process for response to employee notifying employer of positive test result for COVID-19.
    6. Material Deliveries and Anyone Entering the Jobsite
      1. Process to assure all outside vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors comply with Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan.
      2. Follow guidelines for delivery tickets as specified in the Fabrication, Materials, Testing and Labor Compliance Guidance section.
    7. Training, Education, and Communication
      1. Process to inform and educate all employees of information contained in the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan prior to restart. Include proposed training.
    8. Comply with the Governor's Guidance for Businesses in the Construction Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency. This guidance includes but is not limited to the following:
      • Ensure workers are traveling to and from the job site separately. Wherever possible employees should not share a vehicle.
      • Identify a "Pandemic Safety Officer" for each project or work site, or, if a large-scale construction project, then for each contractor at the site. The primary responsibility of the Pandemic Safety Officer will be to convey, implement, and enforce the social distancing and other requirements of this guidance for the protection of employees, suppliers, and other personnel at the site.
    9. Resources
      1. CDC, OSHA, PA Department of Health.
  2. Construction Project COVID-19 Safety Guidelines are available for use in whole or in part for Contractors and Consultants.
  3. The following entities will submit their supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan as such:
    • Contractor - PPCC (PennDOT), Kahua (PA Turnpike)
    • Consultant – Via email (PennDOT), Kahua (PA Turnpike)
    • Asphalt, Concrete, Aggregate Producers – submit to DME/DMM as addendum to existing QC plan.
    • Fabricators and Pre-casters- submit to respective agency representative.
  4. Contractor to install "COVID-19 Safety Plan in effect" sign at project entrance and reasonable locations as agreed upon at the project site. Contractors are permitted to fabricate their own signs at project start-up until they are able to obtain fabricated signs from an approved supplier (authorization will be provided to allow payment).
  5. Subcontractors are to submit their own Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan or follow the prime contractors COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  6. The following process will be utilized on each project to address potential noncompliance with the Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan:
    • All employees are responsible to identify and report noncompliance to their respective designated representative.
    • Designated representative for either Contractor, Department, or PA Turnpike will communicate potential noncompliance to the respective designated representative(s).
    • Appropriate and prompt corrective action is expected by the appropriate designated representative.
    • If appropriate and prompt corrective action is not taken, follow the partnering issue resolution escalation matrix process.
    • If repetitive or blatant noncompliance occurs, either designated representative has the authority to invoke a project safety stand-down. The safety stand-down would be maintained until corrective action is taken to the satisfaction of both designated representatives.
  7. Contractors and Consultants are expected to stay informed of CDC, OSHA, and PA Department of Health (PADOH) updates regarding COVID-19.
      1. PADOH Order for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations (PDF)
      2. PADOH Coronavirus FAQs

Construction Project COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

(For Department and PA Turnpike Use)


As the Commonwealth responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, the following information represents the minimum requirements for active construction projects.


The "Stakeholders" (i.e. Department/PA Turnpike, Consultants, and Contractors) shall each designate a representative on the project to administer each employer's COVID-19 safety guidelines. The Contractor is responsible for conveying the guidelines to all material suppliers and subcontractors.

Personal Responsibilities

  • It is critical that employees NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
    • Employees should seek medical attention if they have or develop symptoms.
  • Employees that develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*: Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
  • Refer to Department document COVID-19 Hygiene and Cleaning Best Practices for personal hygiene, cleaning (project office and job site), for COVID-19 best practices.

Wearing and Cleaning Masks

  • All department employees must secure a mask to wear in the workplace. Surgical masks are for health care professionals and should not be worn in our work environment. The Department is in the process of procuring cloth masks and/or bandanas for employees working in office and field operations. Employees may choose to provide their own covering (mask, bandana, gaiter/buff, etc.) When wearing masks, they must:
    • Fit snug but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Be secured with ties and ear loops
    • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • Wearing a mask alone is not effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19, but the recommendations should be followed by every employee to help slow the spread of and minimize exposure to COVID-19.
  • All face coverings must follow working rule protocols in representing PennDOT in a positive manner. Employees will be responsible for cleaning masks or issued bandanas. When in the workplace masks:
    • Must be worn when in a vehicle with another individual and when using drive thru services
    • Must always be worn by employees even if social distancing can be maintained
    • Are required to be worn by all customers when conducting business. Keep in mind when you are conducting business with other entities that you must wear a mask as your role as a customer.
    • Must be worn when casually coughing or sneezing (if sick, see Personal Responsibility section)
    • May be removed when driving separately (enclosed vehicle/equipment) or isolated in a closed personal office.
    • May be removed when employees are isolated in their personal office space, when unshared with any other colleagues, however, when the employee leaves their individual office space or has invited a colleague into their office, they must wear a mask.
    • May be removed if it impedes vision, if they have a medical condition, or would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
    • May be removed to eat or drink during breaks and lunch periods, however, at those times, social distancing should be applied.
  • Sanitize reusable PPE per manufacturer's recommendation prior to each use.
    • Machine Washing
      • Step 1: Wash in hot water and regular laundry detergent. Bleach can be used in a washing machine with the mask.
      • Step 2: Use dryer on high heat until fully dried.
    • Handwashing
      • Step 1: Wash in warm soapy water.
      • Step 2: Rinse thoroughly with water ensuring both sides and straps have been rinsed.
      • Step 3: Air dry fully, hanging method is preferred as to allow both sides to fully dry.

See Mandatory Safety Talk Wearing Masks for more details.

Social Distancing

  • Social Distancing: Staying Away from Close Contactin public places.
  • Do not host large group meetings. CDC recommends avoiding gatherings of 10+ people; and when meeting, keep a minimum 6-foot distance between people. Perform meetings online, via conference call, or outdoors (while maintaining 6-foot distance between people), whenever possible.
  • Avoid using other workers' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment when possible.
  • Limit the number of people on a jobsite and allow personnel to work from home when possible.
  • Avoid physical contact such as hand-shaking and other contact greetings.
  • Inspection staff only go into the project field office for essential functions. Do as much work from your vehicle as possible.
  • Ensure electronic devices are charged every night and have a car charger available for each device.

Jobsite / Office Practices

  • Install "COVID-19 Safety Plan in effect" sign at project entrance and reasonable locations on the project site.
  • Designated representatives should ask the following questions to their designated employees prior to entering the workplace. If they answer "yes" to any, they should be asked to leave the workplace immediately. Anyone asked to leave should not return to work until 72-hours after they are free from a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
    • Have you, or anyone in your family or any one you have been in close contact with, been in contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Have you been medically directed to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19?
    • Are you having trouble breathing or have you had flu-like symptoms within the past 48 hours, including: fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
  • If a thermometer is available at the workplace, the employee shall take their own temperature and advise the observer of the reading. The thermometer must be cleaned between each use (an oral or an ear thermometer is not recommended). If the reading is 100.4 degrees F or higher, the employee will be directed to go home and contact their medical provider for further guidance. In an acute case where the employee requires transportation, isolate the employee and call 911 for assistance.
  • Stakeholders shall remind / update all employees on the job site during all safety meetings / talks on current COVID-19 guidelines and ask if anyone is feeling ill. If "yes", follow the directions listed under Managing Sick Employees.
  • Communicate key CDC recommendations (and post signage where appropriate) to your staff as potential safety talks:
  • Employees shall wear appropriate PPE on the job site as required and shall not share personal PPE with another employee.
  • While working in a potential COVID-19 environment, it is important to reduce the risk of potential exposures by keeping all work vehicles, equipment, and tools clean. PennDOT employees' reference Protocol 32, PennDOT Vehicle/Equipment Cleanliness document.

Managing Sick Employees

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home, seek medical assistance and not return to work until they are free of fever (measured above 100° F [37.8° C] using a thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants) and follow current CDC guidelines. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Isolate sick employees. CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home or told to seek medical assistance immediately.
  • If an employee shows visible signs of an illness and refuses to leavethe work site, a fitness for duty evaluation should be completed by a supervisor/manager and normal procedures should be followed to remove the employee from the premises.
  • If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 or shows symptoms of COVID-19, consult your health care provider and your employer before returning to work.
  • Communicate with Human Resources for managing sick time related to COVID-19.
  • After notification from an employee that tests positive for COVID-19 the employer will take the following steps and follow current CDC guidelines:
    • Facility will initiate a safety stand-down for a minimum of 24 hours or until compliance with CDC guidelines for return to work.
    • Communication of positive test to appropriate management.
    • Supervisor to investigate additional potential exposure while maintaining patient confidentiality (HIPPA).
    • Supervisor, management and/or facility manager ensure steps are taken to provide a deep cleaning and disinfection of the facility and/or the work area.
    • Wait a minimum of 24 hours, or as long as practical, before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
  • Should you need additional support services during this self-monitoring and social distancing period, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877- 724-3258).dditional support services are available from State Employees Assistance Program (SEAP) Counselors are available 24/7 at 1-800- 692-7459.
  • Visit (Browse as a guest, access code: Pennsylvania) for more information.

Material Deliveries & Anyone Entering the Jobsite

  • Anyone entering the project site including all outside vendors and truck drivers are to practice social distancing.
  • Subcontractors are to submit their own COVID-19 Safety Plan or follow the prime contractors COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • Contractor will collect daily delivery tickets in a sealable container or baggie and quarantine for a minimum 24 hours before providing to Department/PA Turnpike Commission representative. PPCC submission, eTicketing, email, or photographing paper documents/tickets is applicable.


COVID-19, Risk-Based Inspection Guidelines


Moving to a risk-based inspection scenario serves two main objectives:

  1. Reduce human interfacing and assisting with achieving social distancing on construction sites.
    • Project IIC's and inspection staff are to maximize social distance inspection opportunities (i.e. inspect from afar/in the general area of the operation while crews are present to keep an eye on the progression of the work and relocate to the actual work during hold point inspections).
  2. Ensure construction quality when available inspection personnel may be limited during risk-based inspection.


The following are the main concepts behind this initiative:

  • These risk-based inspection guidelines may be used at the discretion of the Department/PA Turnpike Representative.
  • These risk-based inspection guidelines are not intended to replace the normal inspection requirements. They are intended to guide and allocate the use of potentially limited resources to critical activities and promote social distancing of inspection staff on low risk operations where ‘hold point' inspections are deemed adequate considering the need to maximize social distancing because of the COVID-19 threat.
  • Prior to physical work, virtual meetings are to be held with the representative, inspection field staff, and Contractor project field staff to jointly discuss startup operations for the first week. As part of this meeting, the COVID-19, risk-based inspection principles/ policy is to be discussed along with a review of operations where this is to be implemented on the project. The objective will be to ensure both parties understand the modified inspection procedures and to ensure productive and quality work by the Contractor.
  • Items listed have been identified with low to moderate risk to project quality, and safety.
  • Additional operations eligible for risk-based inspection may be identified on a project by project basis. These operations shall be identified by the Representative.
  • For the risk-based inspection operations, inspectors shall document that work was performed without full-time inspection during the operation and was inspected at hold points and/or upon completion, in accordance with these guidelines.
  • Items identified can either be inspected after the work is complete, or at appropriate interim hold points.
  • Risk-based Inspection will require hold points (as listed below), which will inherently require project inspection staff and Contractor staff to increase communications regarding scheduling, when work will begin, and when hold point inspections are required.
    • Certain operations are recommended for Pre-Operation meetings which at a minimum shall:
    • Discuss operation work limits, specifications and material usage.
    • Identify agreed to hold points for operations.
    • Establish protocols for contractor request for hold point inspections
    • Establish response times for Representatives.
    • Advance communications regarding scheduling and execution of work are encouraged to occur between all parties prior to commencement of work operation.
    • Shall establish social distancing best practices for operation, including required attendees for hold point inspections.
    • Required attendees could include: superintendent, foreman responsible for work, IIC, and inspection staff.
    • These pre-operation meetings may be held virtually if practical.
    • The IIC is to prepare minutes of pre-operation meetings and distribute within 24 hours.
  • The Contractors are 100% committed to quality and safety in addition to accepting an increased awareness while inspector presence may be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and procedures.
  • Refer to PennDOT Publication 2, Project Office Manual, Part C, Section 1.17 for additional Risk-Based Construction Inspection Guidelines.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Consider use of UAS for risk-based inspections in accordance with PennDOT policy for UAS Usage for Construction Inspection.
  • This guidance will remain in effect on the project until notified otherwise by the Department/PA Turnpike.

Matrix of Construction Operations and Risk-Based Inspection

 Content Editor

Risk Based Inspection Items - If not shown on this list, normal inspection is required, unless risk-based criteria is determined to be acceptable by Project ACE.
Work Activity Risk Pre-Operation Meeting Discussion Items* Minimum Required Hold Points Remarks
General Work
Clearing and Grubbing Low Waste Sites Upon completion of entire limits or sub-areas as determined at pre-operation meeting
Pre-operations E&S control requirements / verification
Associated environmental restrictions
Establish hold point boundaries for completion inspections
E&S Installation/Removal Low Same as listed for clearing and grubbing Upon completion of initial installation
Review E&S plans Upon completion of perimeter control installation
Prior to dewatering operations
Upon completion of clearing and grubbing
Excavation Moderate Waste areas, on-site or off-site Upon reaching excavation template
Potential unforeseen issues and differing site conditions Upon encountering unforeseen/differing site conditions
Potential utility conflicts Upon encountering unsuitable subgrade
Method of quantity measurement Upon encountering unforeseen utility conflicts
Support of excavation
Rock/Rip Rap Placement Low Template, sequence of operations Upon layout of limits
In-stream permit requirements Upon reaching bottom elevation with geotextile in place
SOS/Material certs Upon completion of rip-rap placement
Line Painting Moderate Materials, surface preparation After layout complete
MPT requirements Upon completion
Weather requirements
Electrical Work Low Materials, conduit size, etc. Upon layout of conduit ad JBs ITS follows same guidance
Connections from conduit to JBs Upon completion of excavation
Upon completion of work
Highway Lighting / Sign Lighting / Signals / Supports / Foundations Low Include traffic unit representatives for signal pole location approval Upon approval of foundation layout locations Include local representatives if necessary
Ensure utilities are located prior to meeting Prior to concrete placement ITS follows same guidance
Ensure curb lines, edge of road, and guiderail locations are laid out Upon completion
Verify foundation elevations
Post-Mounted Sign Erection (Side of Road, Not Overhead, No Foundations) Low Upon completion of layout
Upon completion
Excavation Low See general excavation pre-operation meeting items Upon reaching template
Inlet Replacement / Rebuild Low Prior to setting, after excavation complete Need inspection for backfill / checking inverts
Parallel Underdrain Low Verify potential utility conflicts, outlet locations Upon completion of layout
Discuss driveway terminations Upon completion of excavation / geo installation
Upon completion
Temporary and Permanent Impact Attenuating Devices Moderate Review manufacturer's installation instructions and locations Upon completion of layout
Upon completion of anchor hole drilling and preparation
Upon completion
Guiderail Installation, Fencing (ROW, Exclusionary, etc.) Low Potential obstructions, utilities, special circumstances Upon completion of layout
Upon completion
Bridge / Structure Work (New Construction)
Bridge Demo for Bridges Not Over Roadways Moderate Driven by approved demo plan Incorporated into demo plan, to be approved by SCE prior to commencing work
Allowable construction loadings Upon completion of layout of sawcuts to verify deck thickness prior to sawcutting
Foundation Inspection / Excavation Moderate Potential unforeseen issues and differing site conditions Upon completion of excavation to plan grade
Waste areas, on-site or off-site Upon completion of excavating to footer or Pile Cap elevation
Potential utility conflicts Hold for foundation approval
Method of quantity measurement Upon completion of pile layout, if applicable
Support of excavation Upon encountering unforeseen issue
Formwork Low Upon completion
Falsework Moderate Review approved falsework plan After erection, Inspector and P.E. certification, or as determined at pre-operation meeting
SIPs and Deck Overhangs Moderate No welding in negative moment regions Upon layout of SIPs and overhangs
Review approved SIP and overhang submittals Hold prior to rebar placement, Inspector and P.E. certification, or as determined at pre-operation meeting
Shear Stud Installation Low Hold for weld testing
Hold after each span is complete
Rebar Low Prior to concrete placement / release
For bridge decks, also hold after first mat is installed
Upon encountering fabrication / fitment problems / adjustments
Bridge (Rehab / Preservation)
Patches / Deteriorated Concrete Repairs Moderate Discuss if possible to perform layout while also following social distancing guidelines Upon completion of laying out patches Layout completed as a joint effort, if possible, while also practicing social distancing
Allowable construction loadings After removal If social distancing guidelines cannot be maintained, thenw ork will need to be deferred
Prior to concrete placement / release, verification of surface prep
Expansion Dam Replacement Low Appropriate joint opening based on temperaure Upon completion of sawcut layout to verify deck thickness prior to sawcutting
Splice / installation procedures Upon completion of concrete removal
Upon completion of rebar and extrusion install
Prior to concrete placement/release, verification of surface prep

*Refer to COVID-19 Risk-Based Inspection Guidelines for list of standard discussion items for all pre-operation meetings in addition to those listed in table.

Implementation of Fabrication, Materials, Testing and Labor Compliance Guidance


All guidance provided below that deviates from contractual Publication 408, Specifications or procedures and policies contained within Publication 2, Project Office Manual (POM) have been reviewed and approved by the Federal Highway Administration for use on projects authorized to restart construction and must be implemented as a project work authorization prior to restarting construction on the project.


All references to "Representative" include the Department, PA Turnpike, and Consultant inspectors.

  • Shop Fabrication for Construction Products
    • Products are currently being fabricated/produced but are not being shipped to project sites due to construction work suspension.
    • Shop Fabrication
      • Recommend Fabricator uses electronic delivery to transmit required documentation to the Representative. If electronic delivery can't be done, the required documentation shall be placed in a sealed container and quarantined for 24 hours before being provided to the Representative.
      • Fabricator needs to verify which projects have been authorized to restart construction and coordinate shipments of shop fabricated components to those projects.
      • Recommend having pre-fabrication meetings virtually.
      • Practice social distancing best practices when stamping paperwork or structural components.
    • Precast Concrete Products, Publication 145
      • Practice social distancing best practices while performing mock-up and pre/post-pour dimensional inspections.
      • When multiple Representatives are at a producer, recommend one (1) designated Representative be assigned to complete and process all TR-447s, Sample Identification Forms.
      • Recommend only the Representative handling, molding, and collecting the sample be responsible for delivery of the sample to the Laboratory Testing Section (LTS).
        • If the producer strips the forms of a sample, the sample will remain quarantined for 24 hours before being provided to the Representative.
    • Fabricated Structural Steel, Publication 135
      • Practice social distancing best practices while witnessing non-destruction testing.
      • Recommend only one (1) designated Representative for each shift perform all paint testing.
  • Material Deliveries to Project Site
    • Contractor designates one (1) individual to collect all delivery tickets.
      • Individual will be required to communicate information from the delivery tickets to the Representative.
      • Contractor to scan delivery tickets and submit to Representative through a Project Collaboration System (PCS) or Designated individual will have truck driver drop the ticket into a sealable container.
        • Tickets will remain quarantined for 24 hours before being provided to the Representative.
      • All certifications will be submitted to the Representative through a PCS.
      • No signatures or documentation on delivery tickets.
    • eTicketing
      • If eTicketing was included in the project's contract, proceed with the requirements contained within the contract.
      • Producers capable of eTicketing may elect to provide delivery tickets in this manner at no additional cost. GPS locations for delivery trucks will not be required.
    • Asphalt Delivery Tickets
      • The Representative and Contractor will discuss the process to follow for collecting and distributing delivery tickets.
      • Producer will provide at a minimum the first and last delivery ticket to the Representative electronically, so job mix formula and daily tons can be verified.
      • Representative to maintain a paving book, either hard copy or electronic, to document temperatures, yield checks, sample locations, etc. throughout the day.
    • Concrete Delivery Tickets
      • The Representative and Contractor will discuss the process to follow for collecting and distributing delivery tickets.
      • Producer will provide all batcher mixer slips and delivery tickets to the Representative electronically, so water/cement ratio can be calculated for every load before placement.
  • Calibrations at Producers
    • Scales
      • Producer to use a certified independent 3rd party to witness and document scale calibrations.
    • Bins, Pumps, Admixtures, etc.
      • Performed by producer with signed calibration documentation.
    • Producer to email all calibration documentation to the Representative.
    • Representative could require verification of calibrations when restrictions are lifted.
  • Mix Designs
    • Required to use 2020 designs if they are approved. If not, 2019 designs are permitted until which time the 2020 designs are approved for use.
  • Asphalt Acceptance Testing
    • For Department projects, all acceptance testing is deferred to the LTS unless otherwise approved by the District. This can also be applicable for projects delivered using alternate methods utilizing Publication 408, Specifications.
      • Loose Box and Core Samples
        • Representative will determine sample locations and direct the Contractor to obtain the sample.
        • Once the Contractor has obtained the sample, the security and delivery of the samples to the Representative will be according to the procedures agreed upon at the pre-placement meeting. At a minimum, the following must be included in these procedures:
          • Identification and security of the samples
          • Acceptable container
          • Method of delivery to the Representative
    • For PA Turnpike projects, current specification requirements are to continue except the following:
      • The Contractor will measure pavement cores for depth in the presence of the Representative to witness at a safe distance.
  • Concrete Acceptance Testing
    • If the Contractor can develop a method to disinfect the air meter prior to the Representative performing a verification test that is approved by the District, concrete acceptance testing can continue as specified. Otherwise, use the process described below.
    • For Department projects, the Contractor will continue to perform quality control testing, and the Representative will perform acceptance testing using separate equipment at a separate testing location as detailed below. This can also be applicable for projects delivered using alternate methods utilizing Publication 408, Specifications.
      • Contractor will provide separate equipment for exclusive use by the Representative required to perform the acceptance testing and sufficient equipment for backup.
      • While the Contractor is witnessing the Representative perform the acceptance testing, the Contractor will immediately notify the Representative if the acceptance testing is not being performed properly and ensure corrective actions are implemented before continuing.
      • Representative will obtain a sample to perform slump and air content testing using separate equipment.
      • Representative will identify and mold the compressive strength cylinders according to PTM 611. Cylinder identification is essential in performing virtual compressive strength testing.
      • Representative will strip the cylinders and transfer the identification information onto the cylinders according to PTM 611.
      • Contractor will cure the cylinders as required and perform compressive strength testing. Representative will witness compressive strength testing either at a safe distance or virtually.
    • For PA Turnpike projects, current specification requirements are to continue.
  • PennDOT/NECEPT Aggregate, Asphalt, and Concrete Certified Technician Programs
    • In accordance with Governor Wolf's March 11, 2020 directive on Planning for Large Meetings, Conferences, Trainings, and Community Events, all remaining PennDOT/NECEPT technician courses after March 16, 2020 were canceled. Guidance on each technician program for the 2020 construction season is provided below:
  • Labor Compliance
    • Project Bulletin Board
      • Contractor will visibly display all required postings on the project's bulletin board and protect all postings from the weather. No postings can be double sided.
      • For Federally funded projects, the Contractor will clearly display on the project's bulletin board the one-page EEO Policies on company letterhead for all their approved subcontractor's with contract values over $10,000.00.
    • Certified Payrolls
      • Contractor will submit certified payrolls to the Representative through a PCS.
    • Labor Compliance Wage Rate Interviews
      • Representative will continue to perform wage rate interviews at the frequency established in the POM practicing social distancing during the interview, however, the Contractor's employee signature will not be required. "COVID-19" will be documented in employee signature block by the Representative.
      • Representative will verify wage rate interview after receiving the certified payroll through a PCS.

Guidance for Other Agency Participation in the Construction Restart


Once a project is authorized to restart construction, guidance is provided below identifying items projects need to consider related to our partner agency's availability to perform project site visits due to their internal policies implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


All references to "Representative" include the Department, PA Turnpike, and Consultant inspectors.

Our agency partners, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), County Conservation District (CCD), etc. play a vital role in delivering our projects.During construction, these partners are involved with reviewing and approving permit amendments, sequencing changes, and erosion and sediment pollution control best management practices (E&S BMP) revisions.

  • After projects restart, all permit requirements will be enforced.
    • Contractor and Representative to review construction activities that will begin and ensure all work will be in compliance with any permit restrictions.
      • If project work is not able to be completed by date restrictions established in the permit(s), the Representative will attempt to work with the agencies to obtain an amendment for the work to be completed.
  • Other Agency Participation in the Construction Restart:
    • Representative should contact their agency partner(s) to understand what, if any, restrictions their respective agency may have implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 that could impact their availability to perform site visits.
      • Partner with the agency in developing alternate delivery methods, if needed, to ensure compliance with all permit requirements.
    • Environmental preconstruction meetings before construction begins
      • If this meeting has not already occurred on the project, the Representative will schedule this required meeting with DEP or CCD.
    • Permit Amendments
      • Major Permit Amendment
        • DEP, USACE, and/or CCD may visit the project site to review the proposed work as part of their assessment.
      • Minor Permit Amendment
        • DEP, USACE, and/or CCD typically do not visit the project site to review the proposed work as part of their assessment.
    • Revisions to E&S construction sequencing or BMPs
      • CCD may visit projects to review the changes as part of their assessment.
    • Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) Avoidance Measures
      • Agencies may visit projects to verify compliance with PNDI requirements.

Contract Adjustments and Claim Avoidance Due to COVID-19 Work Suspension Guidelines


This document provides guidance for project teams to work together in a spirit of partnering to resolve problems, remove barriers to the greatest extent possible, and be fair in negotiations and resolutions. The intent is to set a framework where communication is open, honest, and timely so financial impacts can be minimized through sharing ideas and working together with common goals, to resolve issues as quickly as possible. It is not the intent of this document to modify any of the existing provisions of any of the contracts between the Department and Contractors relating to highway construction projects to which it pertains. To the extent any conflict or inconsistency is found to exist between this document and any provision of any of the aforementioned contracts, the provisions of the contract shall prevail.


Communications and Team Meetings

  • Each project will establish a project communication team during the first day of physical restart of work to discuss how to proactively and productively move the project forward, using a partnering approach.
    • Recommended team members should include but not be limited to:
      • Project manager
      • Project superintendent
      • Project scheduler
      • Project ACE/M
      • Project Inspector-in-charge
      • Safety Officer
      • Additionally, for complex projects, it is recommended that the ADE-Construction and the equivalent counterpart of the Contractor's management also attend.
    • This team shall have a restart meeting, preferably virtual, on the first day of restarting physical work to discuss the following items:
      • Contractors to provide two-week look ahead schedules on a weekly basis to assist the Representative with identifying additional risk-based inspection operations and to coordinate these inspections with Contractor as explained above.
      • Discussion on operations that were ongoing prior to the suspension that will not resume in the first week, and why. Examples would be any operation that is not being restarted due to concerns with compliance with the COVID-19 Supplemental Safety Plans, such as social distancing. In the event this occurs on the project, detailed information needs to be submitted in order to determine if it can be mitigated in any way.
      • In the event any operations can resume, but the Contractor asserts that it is more inefficient due to social distancing, these need to be clearly outlined in order for the owner and Contractor to track operations. Solutions will be explored that are mutually beneficial, respecting the need to fully comply with safety plans.
      • Any barriers or concerns with the restart.
      • Discussion of items that the Contractor, Consultant Inspection firm, and Department or the PA Turnpike need guidance or decisions on related to the restart.
      • Discussion should be held regarding schedule submission requirements (details below under schedule).
      • A modified escalation matrix should be developed, specifically for the restart determining the timeframe for escalation for various types of issues to make decisions quickly and avoid delays.
    • Progress meetings, preferably virtual, shall be held at a minimum of bi-weekly, but consideration should be given to holding meetings more often as needed based on the complexity of the contract. Decision on frequency should be mutually agreed upon by ACE/M, ACE-C for PA Turnpike and Contractor PM.
Schedule Management
    • Projects with narrative schedules (or no schedules required) shall provide an updated schedule based the progress of the project on the date of the suspension. This shall be submitted within 10 work days of the restart date.
    • If it is deemed necessary, written direction will be given to Contractors to create a CPM Schedule based on the previously approved Narrative Schedule logic and submitted for approval as per the requirements under Projects With CPM Schedules below. All subsequent submissions and modifications will follow Projects With CPM Schedules requirements below.
    • The Contractor shall be required to update their CPM schedule no later than 5 work days after the project restart, with the "Suspension" date as the new Data Date. The Contractor and Owner will agree on the updated CPM submission and the update will become the official status of the project at the time of the "Suspension" directive. When Restart occurs, the Contractor will also submit another CPM update within 10 work days after the Restart and the update Data Date will correspond to the Restart Date. This update should indicate known impacts to the schedule based on required work rules to minimize COVID-19 exposure. When both updates have been submitted and agreed upon by the Contractor and Owner, a Time Impact Analysis (TIA) will be performed to determine the required Contract Adjustment, if needed, for each project. Contract Adjustment requests by Contractor may include reasonable options such as, but not limited to, Contract Completion Date extension, extension to the bituminous paving calendar, acceleration, double shifting, changes in contract restrictions, extension of date restrictions on critical operations and additional work hours.
    • If Contract Adjustments are deemed necessary, the Contractor shall incorporate the adjustments into their CPM Schedule Update submitted with the known Restart Date and submit the newly updated schedule using the same Restart Date as the submission Data Date. This second Restart schedule containing the Contract Adjustments, once accepted, will become the official project recovery schedule and the new project status schedule at the time of Restart.
    • CPM Schedule Updates shall be submitted on a monthly basis for the remainder of the project unless directed otherwise by the Owner.
    • The CPM Schedule Updates should be reviewed to accurately reflect all applicable permit, environmental and weather restricted activities such as, but not limited to, cold weather concrete placement, bituminous paving temperature restrictions, stream restrictions and endangered species work date restrictions.
    • The Contractor and Owner shall meet weekly to discuss and agree upon schedule progress and as well as any unexpected impacts to the schedule to make decisions to mitigate negative float.
    • Contractors and Owner shall agree on any potential inefficiencies prior to commencement of work.
Workforce and Equipment Tracking
  • Project equipment should be documented by both the Owner and Contractor on the first day of restart.
  • Compare equipment on site at restart to the inventory at time of suspension for benchmarking purposes.
  • Discuss differences in equipment to assure the Contractor and Owner understand the reason any differences occurred.
  • For initial period of restart, and until project reaches a point where operations are unaffected, detailed records of labor and equipment should be documented by operation, and not just on a project basis. Document progress as well.
  • Contractor needs to inform owner on a daily basis of any claim of inefficiency or impact and provide written documentation within one week. Once documentation is initially submitted, it shall be submitted daily.

Guidelines for Occupying Facilities


All references to "Representative" include the Department/PA Turnpike, and Consultant inspectors. These guidelines provided below are effective immediately upon restarting projects and will remain in effect until Governor Wolf's COVID-19 mitigation measures are rescinded.

  • District Offices: Refer to Department document Entering PennDOT Facilities During COVID-19 Mitigation
  • for entering building protocol.
  • PA Turnpike Regional Facility: Central Administration Building and Regional Offices are currently closed, and all the Engineering Department staff is working remotely. The opening of these offices is not required at the start of the construction project restarts. All Construction Engineering staff will continue to work remotely until procedures are established for opening these facilities by PA Turnpike Facilities Group.
  • PennDOT Maintenance Facilities: Refer to Department document Entering PennDOT Facilities During COVID-19 Mitigation for entering building protocol.
  • Keystone Building: Refer to Department document Entering PennDOT Facilities During COVID-19 Mitigation for entering building protocol.
  • Materials Testing Lab (PennDOT): Refer to Department document Entering PennDOT Facilities During COVID-19 Mitigation for entering building protocol.
  • Somerset PA Turnpike Lab:
  • Until further notice, the Somerset PA Turnpike Lab will not be accepting any new asphalt samples for verification for an extended period. When construction operations return to work, the lab will continue to verify 2020 designs that were previously delivered to the lab. If additional 2020 designs require verification, tests will be conducted by the producer in their lab and witnessed by PA Turnpike Materials Staff following the producer's safety guidelines.
    • At construction start-up, two PA Turnpike Materials Staff members will continue the 2020 design verification process for samples previously submitted. Each staff member will be in separate rooms working on different testing operations to maintain social distancing per CDC requirements. Staff members shall follow daily workspace cleaning protocols at the end of their shift in compliance with CDC guidelines as follows:
    • All work surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, testing equipment, and commonly accessed surfaces are to be disinfected following CDC guidelines.
    • All workspace equipment such as phones, computers, etc. are to be disinfected and secured.
    • Any additional supporting PA Turnpike Materials Staff will work remotely.
    • Visitors will not be permitted in Lab.
  • Construction Project Field Offices
    • Goal is to maintain social distancing per the requirements of the CDC and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in construction project field offices. The following guidelines are offered relative to construction field offices:
      • The Representative will establish a digital log to document ingress and egress of staff accessing the field office.
      • The number of inspection staff co-locating in field offices should be minimized and conform to social distancing requirements (6 ft min. spacing). To accomplish this, the following should be considered:
        • A maximum of one individual located in each available partitioned office space. Refer to PennDOT Pub. 408 for minimum number of partitioned rooms for Field Offices Types A-C.
        • Inspection staff should avoid working in field offices. See additional information below.
        • Contractor staff and visitors are not be permitted in field offices.
      • Inspection staff should minimize time in the field office by maximizing time outdoors or utilizing vehicles (within or near to active work zones) as personal workspaces when not observing construction activities.
        • Most work can be completed in this manner with current technology that is already in use per Department/PA Turnpike policies and procedures.
        • Inspectors should follow existing Department/PA Turnpike protocols relative to maintaining safety and security when working within personal vehicles.
        • Daily field inspection assignments and construction operations should be communicated electronically or via telephone rather than reporting to the field office.
        • If Wi-Fi is needed the inspector should be able to park/sit near the field office to get signal and/or upload files from remote offsite locations at the end of the workday.
      • The use of field offices for face-to-face project meetings should be avoided.
        • Progress and other project meetings and discussions should be held outdoors and/or via phone/video conferencing with meeting minutes documented and shared per existing requirements.
        • The number of participants in face-to-face meetings should be limited to comply with CDC/Department recommended guidelines for maximum group sizes and social distancing.
      • Printing of documents should be minimized.
        • Documents that need to be printed or copied can be sent electronically to a designated individual already working in the field office. That individual is to handle printed materials wearing gloves and place the folder in a designated safe place near the field office entrance to transfer the materials. Printed materials can be retrieved once per day.
      • Cleaning of Field Offices
        • Contractors shall provide a daily cleaning plan/protocol for approval that complies with CDC guidelines and the following (in addition to existing requirements):
          • All work surfaces, doorknobs, light switches and commonly accessed surfaces should be disinfected
          • A record of cleaning dates/times is to be maintained.
          • Staff are to secure their work materials (including paper products or equipment) away from work surfaces and lock them up at the end of the shift so cleaning can be done without contacting paper and materials. This includes field books and project documents.
      • Additional Hygienic Materials
        • Disinfectant hand wipes/sanitizer and/or gel, along with a lined trash receptacle, should be located adjacent to field office entrance(s) and used by each individual upon each entry. Materials are to be replenished daily.
        • Staff should sanitize their equipment (computers, PPE and desks) when each shift is finished.
        • Extra (new) disposable PPE equipment including earplugs and safety glasses is to be available for staff use.
  • Asphalt Facilities:
    • Maintain Healthy Business Operations
      • Facility to institute a COVID-19 Safety Plan for review and acceptance.
      • Refer to Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan section.
      • Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.
      • Institute best practices for worker safety as outline by the CDC
  • Concrete Facilities:
    • Maintain Healthy Business Operations
      • Facility to institute a COVID-19 Safety Plan for review and acceptance.
      • Refer to Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan section.
      • Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.
      • Institute best practices for workers safety as outlined by the CDC
  • Aggregate Quarries:
    • Maintain Healthy Business Operations
      • Facility to institute a COVID-19 Safety Plan for review and acceptance.
      • Refer to Supplemental COVID-19 Safety Plan section.
      • Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.
      • Institute best practices for worker safety as outlined by the CDC
  • Sanitation Facilities
  • Refer to Department document COVID-19 Hygiene and Cleaning Best Practices for personal hygiene, cleaning (project office and job site), for COVID-19 best practices.