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Polar Park construction resumes

Polar Park May 12

After a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Polar Park construction will resume this week, with the new home of the Worcester Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) still potentially opening in April 2021 after a six-week shutdown.

Construction at the Worcester construction site was shut down April 1, with a planned relaunch date of May 4 as part of a larger shutdown ordered by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. At that time, local officials said that a shorter slowdown would not affect an April 2021 opening.

With construction resuming this week, officials are now saying it’s too early to determine the impact of a six-week delay. And with good reason: we’re still far enough out where an opening date could be impacted by several factors, including good weather and bad weather. From the Worcester Telegram:

In a prepared statement, Worcester Red Sox chairman Larry Lucchino said this:

“While we look forward to resuming the construction of Worcester’s new ballpark, we recognize that precautions, health, and safety remain paramount. We will support our local construction workers, and we will abide by the conditions set forth by our leaders to ensure an environment that complies with their public policy and expert medical recommendations.

“We will save an assessment of the delay and the adverse impacts for another day.”

Safety was the big concern to be addressed before construction resumed, according to a statement issued by City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr.:

The city, the Worcester Red Sox, Skanska, and Gilbane-Hunt are working collaboratively to best manage the resumption of Polar Park construction. Gilbane-Hunt has issued their mandatory COVID-19 Safety Plan and it meets or exceeds CDC and State guidelines. They are also required to sign an affidavit confirming compliance to all COVID-19 procedures. The four parties are working to assess any impact of both the construction delay and the implementation of the safety protocols on the cost and/or timeline of the project.

By and large, construction projects across the country have continued despite general shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic; work on facilities like Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium an Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium goes on.

Image courtesy Polar Park, taken May 12.

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