CLICK TO LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH DAN WEINGARTEN, M-DOT
The Michigan Department of Transportation says that the US-2 Escanaba River Bridge project will not be completely done before the end of this construction season.
But M-DOT spokesman Dan Weingarten says the goal is to have four lanes of traffic open in time for winter, and then finish work next spring.
This after a six-week long labor dispute between the contractor, Zenith Tech, and the Operating Engineers Union, delayed the placing of the beams for the second half of the span.
“It’s not going to be completed this construction season,” Weingarten told RRN News. “Things have pushed too far into the fall. There will be work that needs to be done next year. That being said, it is our goal to get both bounds of traffic re-opened before winter. So, of course, that’s going to mean completion of the second part of the bridge span and Zenith Tech, the contractor, has resumed work on the bridge and they’re preparing to do the concrete pour for that deck by the end of the month.”
Weingarten says that work has resumed on the project, but is dependent on the weather going forward.
“Probably the final paving would not be done this year,” he said. “There would be a paving course up to the bridge, and it would be driveable.”
Meanwhile, the US-2 project between Gladstone and Rapid River should be done this fall. Weingarten says that work has resumed on that project as well, and there wasn’t much work to do on that six-mile-long repaving project before the labor dispute hit. No specific date for re-opening all four lanes has been set, however.
And in the western U.P. the long detour on M-28 is still in place as work continues on the new Jackson Creek Bridge.
Weingarten says the project was running behind schedule because of weather and other construction issues before the recent labor dispute, which also impacted the project.
“The bridge deck has been poured and the concrete is now curing,” Weingarten said.
The project now is expected to be wrapped up on Octpver 27.
“MDOT will continue to review contract provisions related to completion dates, extensions for work, and possible financial penalties on a project-by-project basis, as is standard procedure,” Weingarten wrote in a statement. “The Governor also has directed the department to carefully monitor all projects and ensure a high level of quality is maintained despite an accelerated pace of work.”