The directives put in place at the city and state levels last week allowed for the continuation of commercial construction, though it’s a fluid situation.
There remains the possibility that fewer exceptions to the stay-at-home orders are granted in response to the growing pandemic, which could postpone the Inglewood project and the renovation of Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium, construction for which also continues.
“We’re going to do whatever we need to do to save lives,” Alex Comisar, a spokesman for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, said Wednesday. “We’ll continue to take direction from public health experts from the county and the [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] to determine what policies need to be put into place. With any activity that’s going on, we expect folks to take into account proper social distancing.”
In a statement released Friday, representatives for SoFi Stadium said construction “continues moving forward with an increased emphasis on already existing elevated health and safety protocols.”
SoFi Stadium, a revolutionary indoor-outdoor venue that will sit at the center of a 298-acre development, was deemed 85-percent complete around late January and is still expected to open with Taylor Swift concerts July 25 and 26. All non-essential employees are working from home, while job-site personnel are working with their general contractors to increase health and safety protocols, according to stadium representatives.
In a conversation posted to YouTube by the Dodgers on Tuesday, team president Stan Kasten said construction workers at Dodger Stadium are “fully compliant with all of the regulations of the county, city and state, as well as the CDC and [World Health Organization]. All of those things are super important to all of us. But consistent with all of that guidance, the work is continuing.”
The Dodgers are undertaking a $100 million renovation that will include a two-acre center-field plaza, upgraded outfield pavilions, a new sound system and a series of elevators and escalators that will provide a 360-degree connection around the park’s perimeter. Field-facing renovations are complete, Kasten said. In recent days, construction has slowed and fewer workers have been onsite at times, a function of both the season being delayed and nationwide protocols to combat coronavirus.
SoFi Stadium is set to host the Rams and Chargers over the final five months of the 2020 calendar year, then stage the Super Bowl in February of 2022. But stricter restrictions by the state of California, L.A. County or the city of Inglewood could shut down construction and force both teams to scramble for temporary homes for the fall. The project had already been delayed a year due to heavy rainfall in early 2017.
On March 17, a day after the L.A. County health officer prohibited gatherings of 50 or more people, the State Building and Construction Trade Council of California sent a memo to its affiliates providing safety measures that included adding sanitary facilities, bringing food from home, maintaining separation of at least six feet and performing deep cleanings on jobsites. The memo stated: “If these guidelines cannot be met and a project is in tight quarters, consideration should be given to shutting the construction project down until safer conditions exist.”