Pennsylvania, like many other states across the US, have had restrictions in place to try and tackle the growing coronavirus pandemic. Casinos and other nonessential businesses have been shut down for some time to try and slow the spread of the virus. After new federal guidelines were released by the Trump Administration, state’s began to consider how such businesses could reopen. For one up and coming casino in Pennsylvania, the construction process can now resume, thanks to relaxed restrictions in the state.
Back on Track
Live! Casino Philadelphia has been under construction for quite some time, but all work ceased once the stay-at-home order was put in place. Now, with regulations changing, the construction phase is now back in action.
Last Friday, a small number of employees were back at the site, preparing for work to begin again today. A shift of construction workers were back today, moving towards normal construction work once again. Around 130 men are expected to be back at work, according to general contractor Gilbane’s vice president Shawn Carlin.
Throughout the week, more workers will be added. Once the restrictions are loosened further, more employees will be able to be on-site at one time. The casino has a $700 million price tag and is located at 900 Packer Avenue next to Citizens Bank Park. Work will resume again through 5pm but there will not be a second shift working at this time.
The site of the new casino is quite large, so workers can be on-site at one time without affecting the spacing needs between individuals.
As the epidemic was at its peak, Governor Tom Wolf forced the construction process to shut down. The order began on March 21st. A waiver was approved, which allowed work to continue at the casino through April 7th, at a limited capacity.
The waiver only covered work that needed to be finished to ensure the site was secured and sealed. To worsen the situation, a labor union held a walkout in early April, stating that safety precautions were not acceptable, and that work was being done further than the waiver allowed.
According to the contractor, the six foot social distancing requirement will be observed. However, there will be specific situations where it will not be able to take place. Glass must be installed in some areas of the property and workers will have to ride in the lift basket together. In this scenario, full protective gear will be provided.
Signs have also been posted at the construction site for workers. The contractor are asking people to evaluate if they feel sick, take their temperature before work, if they are having breathing issues, have recently traveled or had contact with an individual who has Covid-19 or someone who is currently being tested.
The owner of the casino, the Cordish Company, is hoping that the facility will be ready to open by the end of 2020. Hopefully, the casino shut down order will be far gone by that time and if the casino is ready to get started, they will legally be allowed to do so.