April 17, 2020 -- Noon PDT
CalAPA COVID-19 Update No. 12 -- April 17, 2020
Important Notice: This CalAPA "Member Alert" is an exclusive benefit of CalAPA membership and should not be shared outside a member company without prior permission from CalAPA.

SUMMARY:
The California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA) is closely monitoring events related to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 virus outbreak to assess what impact it will have on the asphalt pavement industry in California. What follows is the latest information gathered on the topic by the association since our previous public Member Alert sent on April 8, 2020. Links to our previous Member Alerts are at the bottom of this report.

WHAT IS NEW:
  • California is in a recession. A state legislative analyst told the state Senate fiscal subcommittee on April 16 that California's projected state government budget deficit is likely to be $35 billion in the near future, and likely to rise to an additional $85 billion in the years to come due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor is scheduled to submit a revised state budget reflecting reduced revenues and additional costs next month. Additional details are in the report submitted to the committee HERE.
  • Recent COVID-19 guidance provided by CalOSHA with regard to how suspected cases of the coronavirus among workers are recorded and reported has sparked concern by the construction industry. A copy of the original CalOSHA letter is HERE. An industry coalition letter responding to the guidance, joined by CalAPA, is HERE. The coalition letter urges CalOSHA to follow federal guidance as it relates to recordable and reportable illnesses.
  • The published Caltrans Crude Oil Price Index for April 20 is $172.7. The published figure for March 20 was $297.3 and the Feb. 20 figure was $350.5. The index can be viewed HERE. The posted price is used for calculating payment adjustments for paving asphalt under special provisions section "Payment Adjustments for Price Index Fluctuations" in those projects containing the section. The price drop tracks with global oil prices and a glut in supply partly attributed to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.
  • The governors of three Western states, including Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, announced a framework April 13 for loosening COVID-19 restrictions in a coordinated way. No date has been given for implementation, however. Gov. Newsom's announcement is HERE. A PowerPoint presentation with additional details is HERE.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today (April 17) the creation of an advisory group to help develop a plan to transition out of COVID-19 restrictions, calling it a "safe reset." The group includes four former governors and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer.
  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on April 14 it will grant extensions for those with soon-to-expire driver's licenses, including commercial truck licenses, as well as the ability to seek extensions or renew on-line. A link to the announcement and key websites to conduct on-line transactions can be found HERE.
  • The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) posted a Construction Procedure Directive outlining how the department will notify the contractor when a department employee is suspected of having contracted the coronavirus. The department also advised the construction industry that it has pulled back previously-issued guidance with regard to the utilization of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), and that guidance will be re-issued at a later date. All Caltrans CPD's and supporting documentation can be found on-line HERE.
  • With more jurisdictions issuing orders with regard to face coverings, the National Asphalt Pavement Association on April 13 released a guidance document with updated information on respiratory protection for road workers. The document is HERE.
  • At a meeting April 16 of the Caltrans-industry Pavement & Materials Partnering Committee, Caltrans reported that they are working on guidance related to the use of contact-less load ticketing (i.e. e-ticketing) options for Caltrans projects. The Caltrans standard Specification does not restrict the use of these ticketing options. Caltrans said that if a company would like to utilize this option, they should contact the project Resident Engineer. Caltrans said they will work with the company to accommodate the request. Caltrans also shared that they intend to move in this direction in the future for all projects, and CalAPA is sharing information with the department of knowledge and lessons learned from companies that have implemented such technology in California and across the country.
  • The Sacramento Bee newspaper on April 13 published a story about Caltrans accelerating on-going construction projects during the COVID-19 emergency because reduced traffic has enabled an expansion of work windows. CalAPA is quoted in the story. It can be viewed on-line HERE.
  • CalAPA has moved its most popular technical training class, "Asphalt Pavement 101," to an on-line webinar format. The class, taught by Roger Smith, a former senior materials engineer for Caltrans and the Asphalt Institute, as well as a former executive director for CalAPA, will be held April 23 (register HERE) and April 28 (register HERE).
  • CalAPA continues to contact agencies and members to assess the impact of the health emergency statewide on operations and will continue to compile and summarize that information in upcoming "Member Alerts" as conditions warrant.

BACKGROUND:

Guidance from government officials continues to be issued at the local, state and federal level with regard to the COVID-19 flu virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, which originated in China late last year and has been spreading quickly to other countries, including the United States. California is one of the states impacted, and the governor has declared a state of emergency as state and local governments mobilize resources to understand the nature of the deadly flu-like virus, how it is spread, and what health implications it will bring with it. Business operations have already been disrupted as "shelter-in-place" orders are issued. Road construction in California has so far escaped most of these most severe restrictions as it has been designated "essential services" to protect vital infrastructure. CalAPA continues to seek out guidance from government and elected officials on how the public health emergency will impact the construction industry, and is monitoring supply chains to identify and assess upstream disruptions.

RESOURCES:

CALAPA RESOURCES :

CalAPA is constantly updating its clearinghouse of COVID-19-related resources of interest to the asphalt pavement industry in California, including an archive of past COVID-19-related "Member Alerts," on the CalAPA Safety Page HERE .

The weekly CalAPA "Asphalt Insider" newsletter has carried regular COVID-19 roundups of major developments beginning with the March 16, 2020 issue. Those issues may be downloaded via the newsletter archive page HERE .

A special "Emergency Response"-themed issue of CalAPA"s "California Asphalt" magazine, with articles on crisis communications, tele-working, remote meetings and more, is HERE.

OTHER RESOURCES :

The National Asphalt Pavement Association COVID-19 information page is HERE .

The State of California, Department of Public Health website devoted to providing updated coronavirus information in California is HERE .

The California Department of Industrial Relations COVID-19 webpage is HERE .

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage with information on COVID-19 is HERE .

For more information on this “Member Alert,” contact CalAPA Executive Director Russell W. Snyder, CAE, at (916) 791-5044.


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