MDOT Suspends All “Landscape” Projects and Work Items

On Monday, April 20, 2020, MDOT informed MITA that they are suspending all “Landscape Projects” and “landscape work items” on road and bridge projects. MDOT indicated these “landscaping” suspensions are consistent with the guidance provided in Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order (EO) 2020-42, issued on April 9, 2020.

An EO 2020-42 FAQ specifically addresses the question of whether landscaping companies can operate under the EO with its response, “In nearly all cases, no.” The stated very narrow exception to this response is the occasion where the work “is strictly necessary to address a circumstance that immediately and genuinely impairs the habitability of a home…”. MDOT has interpreted the clarification EO 2020-42 provides to mean that since landscaping companies are not deemed essential, the Department should not have landscaping work being completed on their projects.

MDOT indicated that their Engineers were instructed to suspend “landscaping” on trunkline projects beginning last Friday, April 17, 2020. MDOT has clarified that the suspension of landscaping work does not include or impact restoration work activities.

As a prime contractor on projects that include landscaping work, whether it be a landscaping only project, or a road, bridge or other infrastructure project that includes landscaping work items, we anticipate your Engineer has, or will give you, a written suspension of work order in accordance with subsection 103.02.D of the Standard Specifications for Construction (Std. Specifications). If your Engineer doesn’t give you a written suspension of work order, we suggest you insist that they do in order to protect your rights within the Std. Specifications.

Since this suspension of work is ordered by the Engineer, a resulting delay should be both “excusable” and “compensable” in accordance with subsections 108.08 and 108.09.B respectively, of the Std. Specifications. As an excusable delay, the Engineer will grant a time extension for the delay without the assessment of liquidated damages, and as a compensable delay, you will be entitled to compensation for the delay computed in accordance with subsection 109.05.E of the Std. Specifications.

If you believe you will incur additional costs due to the Engineer’s suspension of the landscaping work on your project, we recommend you be very mindful and attentive to the delay costs documentation requirements of subsection 109.05.E of the Std. Specifications.

When the Engineer provides you the required notice to resume work, we recommend you be equally mindful and attentive to the submittal documentation and submittal timeframe requirements of subsection 103.02.D of the Std. Specifications.

If you have any questions, please contact Glenn Bukoski, VP of Engineering Services, at, or Rachelle VanDeventer, VP of Industry Relations, at