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Construction for summer 2020 on track despite coronavirus delays

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Posted at 5:33 AM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 07:06:21-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there were several construction projects across metro Detroit that were put on hold.

Even with the delays, the Michigan Department of Transportation says the projects are still on track.

The reason for the delay: At the start of the pandemic contractors were figuring out how to work around COVID-19. Diane Cross with MDOT says no contractors were made to work, it was up to them if they felt safe getting jobs done.

The biggest MDOT project that was stalled was work on Milled Road in Dearborn.

“That was delayed by about a week, not really any big delay in the overall project itself,” said Cross.

Cross says there is time allotted into every project for delays. That allotted time allows projects to continue to go forward with no change to the end date.

7 Action News reporter Ali Hoxie checked in with road commissions in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland county, and they echoed the same message. Delays at the start of the pandemic, but all the work now back on track.

Some major projects even kicking off during the lockdown, including the Grosse Ile Bridge in Wayne County. Other projects like the Gordie-Howe Bridge were able to adjust the work to stay on track.

Less traffic on the roads has been one perk of the lockdown when it comes to road construction.

“It is great to have lighter traffic because there are fewer crashes and when we have fewer crashes it’s obviously a safer work zone because when you have a crash work is stopped in that area,” said Cross.

One project that has benefited from the coronavirus pandemic is the Detroit- Windors Tunnel. Right now only essential traffic is allowed to cross the boarder which has given workers time to expedite their finishing touches.

“This has really helped us because it has sped up the progress where we are just about at full 100% completion within the next few weeks,” said Robert Howell, Director of Operations at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

Restrictions on international travel have allowed the tunnel to close down nightly. Now they anticipate to open have the work done sooner than what was slated out for this year, accommodating buses and trucks in the tunnel.

“If we hadn't had opportunity to have these full night closures like we have had over the past month, it would have pushed it out yes to the end of the summer,” said Howell.