While the chaos caused by the COVID 19 pandemic is irrefutable, there has been a silver lining for Atlanta’s residents. Traveling and construction could see a massive boost despite Georgia’s Damaged economy and the pandemic’s spread. Sure, the fundraising at PATH came to a halt, the organizations have more trail projects that will begin construction according to schedule. Some of these projects are also nearing completion.
The Westside beltline trail, in particular, is popular among Atlanta’s residents. Atlanta Beltline Inc. played a vital part in ensuring this project stays on schedule. Officials deemed this work to be essential despite the pandemic. It provided people with jobs and activities, ensuring this project moves forward and people remain employed.
The Development Continues
As officials from different parts of the world struggle with regulating daily life to curb the rapidly spreading coronavirus, some industries had to quit operations entirely and remain at a standstill until further notice.
Schools and colleges in a large number of cities remain closed and operate online. The entertainment industry, especially concert halls and movie theaters, discontinued their operations. It would be fair to say that that the endured the brunt of this pandemic’s impact. Sure, the restaurant industry also suffered, but they can still deliver parcels at customer’s homes.
While most American cities remain affected by the coronavirus, Atlanta has been showing incredible progress. The city’s mayor Keisha Lance enforced a two-week stay at home order, placing a massive question mark behind the city’s development boom. For those who don’t know, Atlanta excelled at improving its infrastructure for years, and the pandemic bought everything to a screeching halt.
According to the order, the city’s residents had to remain at homes and only leave for essential activities like exercising and shopping for groceries. The plan was to maintain Atlanta’s infrastructure while kicking the virus to the curb.
Initially, the official language stated that individuals could leave their homes to provide services necessary for the maintenance and operation of “essential infrastructure,” including airport operations, water, gas, sewer, public transportation, railroads, highways, oil refining, electricity, gas, and construction.
In the beginning, it seemed like the officials deemed construction sites to be off-limits. However, there was an error, and it made Atlantans think that their city’s growth spurt ended. What was the mistake? Well, it was a tiny comma that made all the difference. The city officials revised the order by including the all-important comma, green lighting the developers to continue the construction projects.
Construction Remains Essential for Atlanta
After getting inquiries about why the mayor’s first draft excluded construction from the essential business category, Tim Keane, Atlanta’s city planning commissioner, clarified everything, stating that construction remains an important business and will continue within the city’s limits.
Nevertheless, inspections and permitting remained discontinued at the planning department. Why? Because the mayor ordered the closing of Atlanta City Hall, encouraging officials and the public to practice social distancing.
Keane also mentioned that the city is accepting third-party inspections of its projects. However, the private parties have to clear these inspections by city officials. Mike Durham, AGC of Georgia’s CEO, stated that construction does not always go hand in hand with social distancing. He further noted that if someone is at the construction site, pouring a slab for a building, his work can continue as long the inspections and permits are proper.
There are also tasks where you don’t have to enforce social distancing measures as the workers will already be more than six feet away. However, if two people are collaborating to adjust a door, they will be quite close, leading to a problem.
The pandemic could still throw massive curveballs at Atlanta’s construction industry, but it is too soon to say whether this will happen. Until then, construction continues at full swing, and Atlanta’s roads remain busy.
Atlanta’s elaborate construction plans are nearing fruition thanks to its competent officials. The city could have tremendously suffered if the mayor discontinued the PATH and beltway constructions. Once the projects mentioned above are complete, Atlanta will take a major step forward by providing convenient routes to citizens, reducing traffic, and improving travel times. People will have extra convenience traveling to and from work, ensuring that their infrastructure helps people thrive.
It would be fair to say that Atlanta is making headway, and with its construction at full swing, you can expect this city to implement new plans very soon. Once again, however, all it takes is a small curveball to mess things. But, seeing how the city’s officials handled the pandemic, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them handle other abrupt hindrances.