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Holiday Cheer and Construction Fear

Millions of New Yorkers and television-watchers anticipate NYC’s annual Thanksgiving parade, but festivities around the holidays can pose a nuisance for construction. If your construction project requires a permit approval from the Department of Transportation (DOT) for interfering with public transportation, it may be affected.

To avoid severe traffic during the holiday season, DOT issues a Holiday Construction Embargo annually. This year, it will go into effect on November 15, 2023, and end on January 2nd, 2024. The embargo encompasses all work hours — from 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

It is critical for contractors and project managers to familiarize themselves with the details of the embargo so that they can navigate the time restrictions and potential penalties.

How does the embargo work?

During the embargo period, roadway and sidewalk construction on all affected areas must halt, unless special permission is granted. This map, provided by NYCDOT, identifies which streets will be affected.

The embargo also prohibits utility cover openings from being opened between the aforementioned hours, unless through an Emergency Authorization Number. Between the hours of 12:01 a.m. to 5:59 a.m., however, this does not apply and utility coverings can be opened as planned.

Projects that are affected by the embargo must clear the surrounding area by 6:00 a.m. on November 15. All roads and sidewalks around the site must also be considered safe for vehicles by this deadline.

Emergency construction work will not be affected, while non-emergency, critical work may be considered for an exemption.

How Do I Obtain A Permit?

Luckily, there’s no longer a deadline for requesting a waiver. You can now submit your permit requests online via the NYCStreets permit system, even throughout the embargo period. The application fee is $135, which must be paid within 5 days of its submission, before it is reviewed.

Permits acquired before the start of the Holiday Construction Embargo must specify a critical need to resume construction during the embargo, or they will be subject to restrictions.

If NYCDOT and the Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination (OCMC) do not determine the reasons for construction to be critical, the waiver will be denied. Due to the fee, be sure to consider whether your project would be accepted before applying.


November and December are busy months for New Yorkers and construction sites alike, but the holiday cheer doesn’t have to interfere with your project.

If you are concerned about navigating the Holiday Construction Embargo, or if you need assistance with any building code or zoning issues, the experts at Outsource Consultants, Inc. are equipped to help you.