Boston & Cambridge Construction Reopening

The Cities of Boston and Cambridge have introduced their own respective timelines and regulations for reopening construction sites. Both cities have based their regulations off of the requirements of the Baker-Polito administration for the reopening of Massachusetts, as well as guidelines outlined by the CDC and respective federal agencies.

The City of Boston concluded its citywide shutdown on May 26th, with all construction sites now permitted to open, but with site and operational changes in response to COVID-19. The city is permitting any construction project currently allowed by the Commonwealth, and requires that all general contractors sign a COVID-19 Safety Affidavit as well as develop and implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan. This includes those which had obtained permits from either BFD or ISD prior to the shutdown, as well as all future permit submissions

The City of Cambridge is currently implementing its construction reopening strategy, with the timeline outlined below. The dates outlined are preliminary, with each phase expected to last a minimum of three weeks, and are subject to change based on public health data throughout the Commonwealth, which will be regularly updated and re-evaluated to determine when to move to the next phase of reopening.

Phase 1, which began on May 25th, allowed site safety preparation work to commence for projects previously permitted by Inspection Services (ISD) and Public Works (DPW). Amendments to the City’s Temporary Emergency Construction Order issued on March 18 modified the definition of essential construction to include work associated with COVID-19 restaurant modifications needed to allow them to safely reopen;

Phase 2, which began on June 1st, added horizontal construction, city building projects, 100% affordable housing developments, and larger buildings (over 25,000 square feet) previously permitted by ISD or DPW;

Phase 3, tentatively beginning on June 15th, will add all remaining existing construction previously permitted by ISD and DPW; and

Phase 4, tentatively beginning on June 29, will allow construction on projects not previously permitted to commence. Permit applications can be submitted, and pre-reviews will occur at any time, but permit applications will not be formally reviewed or issued until this date.

In addition to the Commonwealth’s requirements, Cambridge is also requiring sites in the city to conduct twice-daily decontamination of high-contact surfaces, limiting the number of persons within worksites (4 per every 2,000 ft2 of enclosed space, and an additional 1 person per every additional 500 ft2), and prohibiting non-essential persons on worksites. All contractors are additionally encouraged to conduct site-specific risk analyses to determine if enhanced measures are necessary for more complex projects.

If you have any questions about construction in the Metro Boston area or have any other concerns associated to this topic, please feel free to reach out to for additional information.


Application of any information provided, for any use, is at the reader’s risk and without liability to Code Red Consultants. Code Red Consultants does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in this blog as applicable codes and standards change over time. The application, enforcement and interpretation of codes and standards may vary between Authorities Having Jurisdiction and for this reason, registered design professionals should be consulted to determine the appropriate application of codes and standards to a specific scope of work.