State announces fast-track for Gateway project

Following last week’s decision by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards to have the Michigan Department of Transportation complete the Detroit International Bridge Company’s share of the long-litigated Gateway Project, MDOT is announcing that it will take a streamlined approach intended to finish the job as quickly as possible.

As we reported last week, the bridge company was ordered to place $16 million into an account to assure that taxpayers won’t be picking up the tab for work the company was supposed to have done.

In the announcement, MDOT officials say the department, in compliance with the judge’s expressed desire to see the southwest Detroit project completed as quickly as possible, will pursue a “design-build procurement process to complete the remaining work

As explained by MDOT, design-build contracts “allow pre-qualified contractors to bid on the project with limited design documents. The contractor then employs an engineering consulting firm to finish portions of the design while moving forward with construction on portions where the design is completed. Think of it as going ahead with framing your house even while you decide later what kind of carpeting to install.”

MDOT says that it anticipates starting the process of finding qualified bidders as early as the week of March 26 and will begin “soliciting bids the week of April 2 with the goal of awarding the design-build contact by mid-April. This schedule is predicated on MDOT receiving the funding and project-affiliated electronic files from the DIBC.”

“The chosen design-build team will complete the final construction plans with provisions in place for interim completion of the portions that will remove truck traffic from local streets as quickly as possible, as well as provisions for expediting the overall completion,” according to the MDOT’s press release.

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