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Is the Holiday Construction Embargo still happening in 2020?

According to the NYC DOT’s recent announcement, yes (and many of our favorite holiday festivities like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, are still on)! However, there will be more leeway granted this year in light of COVID-19 that you should be mindful of.

The annual Holiday Construction Embargo is the longest construction embargo of the year in New York City, taking place this year from November 24-December 27, 2020, 6AM-11:59PM. The Department of Transportation’s Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination (OCMC) will restrict roadway and sidewalk construction activity in affected areas by suspending active permits and not approving new permits (unless a waiver is issued) for the dates the embargo is in place.

This means that any roadway and sidewalk construction permits without permit stipulation 410 (other than emergency work with an emergency authorization number from DOT) issued in affected areas prior to September 22, 2020 are due to be suspended during the embargo period.

Generally, the Holiday Embargo is put in place so construction doesn’t impede the winter holiday season, known for bringing masses of tourists and higher risk of gridlock to the city each year. While this year’s embargo is notably shorter than those of the past few years, many may not have expected this year’s embargo to happen at all since COVID-19 is expected to restrict the normal holiday crowds.

“Things are still pretty up in the air, so it’s hard to predict how this year’s holiday season will impact traffic and walkways,” said Anthony Roselli, Principal at Outsource Consultants. “I would assume the DOT is taking a precautionary measure with this embargo, so definitely keep an eye out for changes in the embargo policy as we get closer.”

On the bright side, due to said uncertainty the OCMC will be more flexible with its Holiday Construction Embargo (HE) waivers than usual, with additional work hours granted during the embargo period where possible.

To apply for an HE permit for critical work on an embargoed street, you can apply online through NYCSTREETS from now until October 31, 2020. The system will automatically flag applicable permits for extra HE review. The system will be dismantled on November 1, so make sure to get it in on time!

Please note, a $135 permit fee must be paid within 5 days of submitting the permit request, and a reason for the request must be included in the “Work Description” field.

If you need help with permit requests, preparations for the Holiday Embargo, or any other matter, ask the experts at Outsource Consultants.