December 18, 2014

Road Commission announces completion dates

Melita Road Bridge — Sept. 30
Manor Road Bridge — Nov. 30

Tim Barnum
SL & H employees finish concrete applied onto the Melita Road Bridge.
By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — A press release delivered to “The Arenac County Independent” on Sept. 5 answered a question on a lot of people’s minds – when will drivers be able to take Melita Road south to Sterling or north out of Sterling?

According to the press release, a final completion date has been set for Sept. 30 – about seven weeks later than the originally estimated date for completion, Aug. 1.

“We are extremely disappointed with the progress of the contractor,” said Arenac County Road Commission Superintendent-Manager Blair Dyer. “Unfortunately, their choice to slow the pace of construction has pushed the bridge past schedule by nearly two months.”

The press release also says the Road Commission granted the contractors, SL & H Inc. of Corunna, a three-week extension, per the recommendation of the project’s engineer, Wilcox Associates, but the contractor failed to make that date as well.

Since the extension ran out on Aug. 22, though, the Road Commission has begun to recoup some costs back from SL & H.

“It’s out of our hands,” Dyer said. “Obviously they have other priorities and are willing to pay the penalties.”

While the Melita Road Bridge replacement project has been a vessel of bad news, the commission reports better news for another critical bridge replacement on Manor Road, in AuGres Township. The press release says that project is still going according to plan and should meet its Nov. 30 completion date.

Also, the Sterling Road Safety project is looked to be wrapped up by the end of the week beginning on Sept. 8, or the week following.

“We do appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during the road construction season,” Dyer said.

The Melita Road Bridge replacement project, which replaced a 74-year-old bridge, cost $1.2 million, 95 percent of which was covered by critical bridge funding grants by the Michigan Department of Transportation. This type of funding was also used for the Manor Road Bridge over Big Creek.

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