The Pandemic and the impact of the coronavirus have drastically hit the construction industry in New York, the USA, and across the globe. Today, though the economy has reopened in most parts of the globe, this sector faces many challenges caused by local and state shutdowns that have led to the closure of construction sites in most regions. Moreover, there is a reduced decrease in the funding for public construction projects that depend upon tax revenues, their owners canceling projects, or placing them on hold due to uncertainty in the current economy. Moreover, there are shortages in the supply chain, both nationally and locally.
Reddy Kancharla – How have civil engineering bidding projects been impacted?
Reddy Kancharla is an esteemed civil engineer and geotechnical consultant in the USA. Throughout his entire career, he has successfully worked on a number of construction projects in the USA. He says that since March 2020, there has been a huge drop in the volume of project bids in the construction sector. In fact, just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, bidding in construction projects was quite high in the New York Metropolitan area.
He adds there has been a steep rise in the number of projects either in their planning or in the recently bidding stages; however, they all have been on hold since the middle of March 2020. There are credible reports that reported that this number peaked around the last week of March by 140% over the weekly average that was rolling at the same time in 2019.
Since then, the numbers have leveled out; however, they are approximately about 80 percent compared to what was seen in 2019. The non-residential and heavy/civil engineering sectors had seen some of the greatest increases, while projects in the private sector saw a much- reduced decrease in construction projects put on hold.
Delays in construction bid dates
There are a number of civil engineering projects that are having their dates for project bidding extended. Again, projects in the private sectors experienced lesser extensions in their construction project bidding dates over their Public sector counterparts, he says.
Near the end of March, these bidding dates’ delays were up to 80 percent compared to the same period in 2019. Due to a lesser number of projects being placed on hold or going to be out on a bid, that figure fell to about 30 percent below the rate at the end of April 2019. This obviously makes sense as those construction projects that moved ahead were recorded to shift from the project planning phase to the project bidding stage.
According to Reddy Kancharla the pandemic also resulted in a number of construction projects that have been abandoned due to lockdown. They are the projects in the bidding phase or have been canceled at the outset with no further plans of going forward. There was a surge in the abandoned projects in the middle of March 2020, which, when compared to 2019, were on an average of 10 percent. This is not a grave matter of concern, he says, as if you compare other trends that the construction sector is witnessing, the weekly average of such projects rarely crosses one hundred projects in the nation.