Orange County Partnership - News

Gov. Orders All Non-Essential Construction Shut Down; LEGOLAND New York's Road, Bridge Work to Continue

NEW YORK—At a press briefing at the Javits Center in New York City on March 27, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo modified an earlier executive order and mandated all non-essential construction work across the state to shut down immediately.

The order will mean the temporary shutdown of major mixed-use development projects in the Hudson Valley and other development projects, such as the theme park and hotel component of the LEGOLAND New York project currently under construction in Goshen. That project that was proposed to open on July 4, 2020 has since announced that its grand opening date will be moved to 2021 (details will follow).

The good news however, is that not all work at the LEGOLAND New York project will be halted.

Matt Besterman, public relations manager for LEGOLAND New York, released a statement in response to the new construction restrictions and their impact on the project: “Adhering to updated guidance issued this morning by New York State in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, LEGOLAND® New York Resort is pausing construction of its theme park and hotel until further notice. We will provide updates about our plans as we know more. The roadway and bridge construction in connection with the new Exit 125 on Route 17 is deemed essential by New York State and will continue.”


The governor’s order describes essential construction to include: public and private utilities including but not limited to power generation; fuel supply and transmission; public water and wastewater; telecommunications and data centers; airports/airlines; commercial shipping vessels/ports and seaports; transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, for-hire vehicles, garages; hotels, and places of accommodation


The state also relates that essential construction work that may continue also includes projects involving: roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters.


Operating under the designation as an essential business as modified by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, work crews continue to press forward with infrastructure renewal and environmental protection projects in the downstate New York region, according to construction industry trade organization The Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. based in Tarrytown.


While certain projects have been slowed or delayed due to staffing shortages, contracting employers and organized labor leaders are hopeful key personnel and crews can continue to deliver on public projects, the CIC stated.


“Construction work is continuing and we’re taking every precaution to ensure everyone is safe, protected and productive,” said John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.


“We are working with Empire State Development and other state agencies to ensure that essential construction projects are advancing in a safe and timely manner,” said Maureen Halahan, President & CEO of the Orange County Partnership. “Construction drives the economy so it’s important that those projects that are deemed essential, remain on schedule so when the pandemic is over, current projects and those in the queue continue as planned. Of course safety for all workers is the highest priority, but good planning, efficiency and keeping to a schedule will protect us when the veil is lifted.”