COVID-19 & Land Development: 4 Steps to Keep Existing Projects Moving Forward

24 March, 2020

Here’s How You and Your Civil Engineering Consultant Can Keep Current Projects Moving Forward

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the land development industry, there are still steps owners and developers can take to keep their current projects moving forward.

At Bohler, all 700+ of our employees are equipped to work remotely. Our teams are fully operational and are helping our clients navigate this uncharted territory. Here are the steps we are taking with our clients. We encourage you to do the same with your consultant.

1. Understand the current status of your project’s jurisdiction

Before you can make informed project decisions, understand the decision to be made. Know the status, current working conditions, and temporary rules for your jurisdictions and regulatory agencies with oversight over your project.

Bohler’s teams are communicating with officials, reviewers, and inspectors to understand their current operations. It’s a fluid situation. In some instances, this information is changing hourly. Also, jurisdictions have varying degrees of “shut downs.” Some regions classify construction as an essential business so it can continue.

2. Communicate your priorities to your consultant

Outline the elements of your high-priority projects that are most important to you. Eventually, this crisis will pass. When the slowdown and current circumstances return to normal, the development community may rush to get projects and tasks completed. Prepare your consultant to move forward in the right way by keying them in to what is most important to you.

3. Be proactive with this time

While it seems as if the industry has paused, there is plenty of work to do now. This advanced work may place you and your project in a better position for when ‘business as usual’ resumes. For projects in the design phase, discuss pre-submission filing strategies. Prepare filings in advance. Knock out time-consuming administrative tasks like tracking down application signatures.

Now is also a good time for your consultant to value engineer plans that you may not have had time to do before this current situation. Ask your consultants to coordinate all drawings and plans. A double-check now between your project architect and civil engineer may catch a potential submission hang-up.

4. Reassess your current project timeline

Talk about how delays, business closings, and construction mandates will impact the project schedule. Consider your contractual provisions and legal obligations. Then, strategize creative ways to keep moving forward.

For example, many jurisdictions and agencies have remote capabilities. Ask your consultant how you can use technology for electronic submissions, zoom meetings, and virtual plan reviews. If forced to delay construction, collaborate on ways to extend approval timelines.

In a time when it feels as though much is out of our control, focus on the project elements that you can control. In an industry that moves quickly, it is uncomfortable – and stressful – to pause. Lean on your consultants during this time. Use their availability and guidance to maintain momentum.

If you have questions or concerns about your existing project, our team is here to help. With offices throughout the country, we are on top of current jurisdictional updates and can help you find ways to move forward.

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