By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- Work will resume.
That’s the message from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office who announced on Oct. 2 that a short-term agreement had been struck through the 2018 season between the Operating Engineers 324 and the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, which locked out the road engineers for most of September as part of a labor dispute.
Work had been halted on Tripp Road in the township along with more than 100 projects statewide including nine in Oakland County.
“We are told the work will resume,” said Craig Bryson, senior manager of communications and public information for the Road Commission for Oakland County. “What that means we are not sure. It’s gong to take some time to get work rolling on the project. Some workers have taken other jobs other places. It’s a matter of pulling the people back together. We’re hoping to mobilize equipment, that may have been removed back on the job. Contractors will have to let us know.”
Mike Nystrom, vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, representing the contractors, said statewide about 65 percent are back on the job as of Oct. 3.
“Work is starting on most of the state project,” said Nystrom, in an interview with The Citizen. “However, there’s still no contract and it’s a long way off. A lot of the projects will be completed or buttoned up appropriately by winter.”
Mother Nature may still play a role, said Bryson.
“During the shutdown we had some great fall weather that would have moved these projects along,” he said. “Now that it’s settled the rain starts.”
In July the Road Commission for Oakland County closed the mile long thoroughfare and began the $2.3 million reconstruction of Tripp Road between Dixie Highway and Grange Hall Road. It was expected to re-open to traffic in mid-November.
“It could force some projects, like Tripp Road into next year,” he said. “In Michigan construction ends in November. Many project are buttoned up due to weather and the closure of asphalt plants. Not only is it an inconvenience for residents and motorists, it’s also costly to taxpayers. Contractors could claim an extension of the project—but that remains to be seen.”