ROSEVILLE, Mich. – Inspectors with the Michigan Department of Transportation found a problem in the I-696 construction zone, forcing an expensive do-over.
The reconstruction of I-696 is the biggest road project of the summer and part of the fall. Just as it was beginning to resemble a highway again, the contractor hit a roadblock.
The very first bit of new pavement that was laid down had to be replaced.
"That's why we are on site and inspecting this stuff regularly," MDOT Construction Manager Alan Ostrowski said. "We were right there."
Ostrowski said he and the contractor work in tandem to make sure the job is done correctly. He said there are steel bars inside the pavement at all the joints, and the paver pushes the steel bars into the pavement as it goes forward.
But after the pavement cured, they noticed a problem.
"The alignment and place of those bars was in question," Ostrowski said. "They need to go into a certain depth and certain alignment so the joint performs like it should."
In this case, it wasn't up to their standards and needed to be replaced. The contractor agreed, absorbing the cost, which was around $300,000.
Now, a half-mile of road just west of Gratiot Avenue is getting a re-do.
Ostrowski said this shows the process is working.
"These issues were identified pretty early," Ostrowski said. "They've continued to move down the road and pave, and these issues are resolved."
Ostrowski said the project is still expected to be completed by the early-November deadline.