Construction in the Time of Coronavirus

Construction workers on site

While you should always know the notice provisions of your construction contract, in times like these such knowledge is imperative.

March 30, 2020
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

One cannot look look at one’s phone, computer or even the road outside the window without seeing signs of the impact that coronavirus (COVD-19) is having on the world at large. Schools are shut down, traffic is lighter and there is the daily count of new confirmed cases, in Virginia and elsewhere. “Social distancing” is the buzzword of the day. I am writing this post from a home office because of CDC and other guidance regarding the best way to “flatten the curve.” We have all been told to avoid large groups and stay close to home.

All of this is well and good, but construction must go on. In travelling around Richmond, I see construction vehicles on the road quite a bit. This is a good thing. It seems that most of the Richmond, Virginia area contractors are trying to stay as close to “business as usual” as possible while still remaining vigilant and careful to follow CDC and OSHA guidelines on workplace activity and COVD-19. However, the situation is ever changing and government and other outside forces could lead to project slowdowns, project shutdowns or other virus related impacts to everything from permitting to staffing of a project.

As I have discussed, likely ad nauseam, any commercial or residential construction project is controlled by a series of contracts (hopefully well drafted) that control the relationships on the job. Subcontractors in particular have the provisions of their subcontract and those of the prime contract to worry about. One of the major provisions that could trip up any construction professionals on these jobs is the notice provision of the subcontract (thanks for the reminder go to a friend and fellow construction lawyer Mark Cobb at his blog).

Mr. Hill may be contacted at


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