Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

July 4, 2014

South Airport lanes open

TRAVERSE CITY — A local construction company faces fines after missing its deadline on a construction project in Grand Traverse County.

Team Elmer’s repaved South Airport Road from Veterans Drive past Cass Road. Construction started June 2 with a June 27 deadline, and finally wrapped July 3 at 3 p.m. after a day marked by long traffic backups.

Team Elmer’s Communications Director Tonya Wildsong said rain delayed the project because water keeps the new layer of asphalt from sticking to the old road surface.

“We don’t want to put in an inferior quality product,” Wildsong said. “Large amounts of rain like we’ve been getting can do that.”

Wildsong said crews worked overtime to do the repaving in two days, Wednesday and Thursday, instead of the five days it was scheduled to take.

Grand Traverse County Road Commissioner Jim Cook met with representatives from MDOT and Team Elmer’s on Tuesday and decided to start construction again Wednesday, hoping it would wrap Thursday by 6 a.m.

The state will fine Team Elmer’s for every day they’re working past the June 27 deadline. Cook said the contractor can try to avoid fines by arguing weather caused the delays.

“It will come down to some kind of negotiation between the state and the contractor,” Cook said.

Wildsong said she doesn’t know specific details of the fines, but said weather delays usually are factored into decisions.

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