Genesee County's Mill Road bridge project paused during construction worker lockout

FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (9/17/2018) - The equipment is on site and work is started on the Genesee County Road Commission's rehabilitation of the Mill Road bridge.

But the site was eerily silent Monday -- another casualty of the ongoing labor dispute between a road construction workers union and a group of contractors.

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, which represents some of the state's largest road construction companies, locked out members of the Operating Engineers Local 324 in late August.

The prevents the road workers from reporting to their jobsites while contentious contract negotiations continue.

"At this point we have to stop work until something gets figured out between MITA and the union," said John Plamondon with the Genesee County Road Commission.

More than 1,000 heavy equipment workers across Michigan are not reporting to their work sites as the stand off between the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association and Operating Engineers Local 324 continues.

"The one fortunate thing about this project is that it has been closed and it will just continue to be closed until we can get the contractor back and get things taken care of," Plamondon said.

The Mill Road bridge has been closed since early November 2017 after serious structural deficiencies were detected. With the labor dispute now happening there's no end date in sight.

"For the Genesee County Road Commission this is the only (project affected), but MDOT has been affected dramatically," Plamondon said.

The $34 million project to completely rebuild I-69 between I-75 and I-475 also is on hold due to the lockout.

"We would like to see things get resolved as quickly as they possibly can quickly and fairly to make sure that everyone is taken care of in this process," Plamondon said. "But we want them back here as quickly as possible so we can get things finished up."