More than 150 road construction projects are back in business while the labor issues between MITA and the Operating Engineers’ Union are on hold until winter.
The projects include the two largest projects in Michigan, I-696 on the east side of metro Detroit and I-75 south of Detroit. Both are back under construction.
The I-696 project is the major east-west freeway, and westbound has been closed since this started in May.
It has created a major mess for commuters and people who live near the freeway.
“I can’t wait until this is done. I live right off the service drive, and it takes me 40 minutes to pull out. And the big trucks. It’s just too much traffic,” said Leah Carmichael who lives near 11 Mile.
“I drive from Warren to Dearborn every day. It’s hard to take the service drive every time with traffic,” said Brooke Bowers while stuck in traffic.
I-696 was to be completed in November. Now it is a race against Mother Nature to get it done before winter weather forces work to stop.
The lockout by MITA lasted three-and-a-half weeks and has been painful for workers and independent trucking companies assisting the projects.
“It means we’re back to work I can pay my bills. When you have payments of 3 and 4 thousand dollars on equipment it goes fast,” said Rick Stone an independent truck owner.