Local News

Heat Halts Construction Projects, Workers

Posted July 29, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— We all tend to move a little bit slower when it's really hot outside. The same is true for construction workers, and when they slow down, so do many of the projects they're working on.

Construction workers are spending a lot more time at the water coolers these days.

"It's been really tough," says Ashley Stell of Albright Builders. "They have to take lots of breaks and drink lots of fluids, and get as much shade as they can."

Under the little shade of a straw hat and a plastic tarp, workers are doing all they can to stay cool, so they can stay on the job.

"One of our sub-contractors is probably in his late fifties," explains Stell. "His wife had to come get him from a job. He just got overheated."

Area construction companies have just as many crews in the field, but their days now begin around 6:00 in the morning, so they can call it quits early and beat the afternoon heat.

The workers aren't the only ones moving along a little slower. Companies are seeing delays of up to a week for some projects.

"It's slowing it down a little bit because you can't work as fast in this heat," Stell explains. "You have to take more breaks, and you can't push yourself too far."

Even workers who are not under the sun, but inside getting the job done, have to think about heat exhaustion. Most of the construction projects in progress are not air-conditioned.

"We're at a stage right now where you can't have the windows open," says Jackie Russell of Albright Builders. "So it's hard to cope with it. You just have to deal with it. That's for sure."

Construction workers expect to be on their adjusted schedules throughout the remainder of the summer. While the heat is slowing down several area projects, construction companies say rain typically delays projects more than hot weather.