Construction on SoFi stadium in Inglewood is continuing because the work is exempt from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order that all Californians stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.
The new, 70,000-seat home of the Rams and Chargers is set to open in late July and has an estimated cost of $5 billion, making it the priciest venue in NFL history.
Representatives of the project provided a letter sent by Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. to County Supervisor Kathryn Barger on Friday in which Butts wrote that, based on the city’s understanding of the governor’s order, as well as a similar mandate issued by L.A. County officials, neither apply to Inglewood public construction efforts. Those include infrastructure related to the stadium, as well as the stadium itself, he wrote.
“The State order is intended to ‘establish consistency across the State’ and provides for the ‘continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction,’ ” Butts wrote.
He said that the city has directed, and construction teams have implemented, social distancing, handwashing sites and a strict order for workers to stay home if they are sick.
“I have urged anyone who is sick, feels at risk, or is otherwise uncomfortable to stay at home,” Butts wrote. “I understand that the construction teams have reiterated and fully support this direction.
Housing construction also is continuing, with workers reporting to L.A. job sites on Friday.
Although cities such as Boston have halted most construction, that hasn’t been the case in California. Previous orders to stay inside, issued in the San Francisco Bay Area, exempted construction.
So did an order issued by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday, shortly before Newsom made his announcement; the mayor's spokesman said in an email that such work is essential to the economy.
“These are unprecedented times, and the health and safety of our workers and their families is of the utmost importance to us,” SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park said in a statement.
All nonessential workers are working from home, and project managers are working with the general contractors, including Turner AECOM Hunt, to increase health and safety measures for those who remain onsite, the statement said.
Turner AECOM Hunt already has adopted a number of mitigation measures at its project sites, including more frequent cleanings and strategies for reducing the density of workers, according to guidelines provided by the project representatives.
Project representatives also are in regular contact with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Councils, which have provided additional guidance around safety measures at job sites, the representatives said.
"The trade councils and Hollywood Park are committed to continuing to provide work at a safe jobsite for all construction workers who can remain onsite and wish to continue working," they said.
Times staff writer Andrew Khouri contributed to this report.