Zilwaukee Bridge project delayed

Zilwaukee City Manager Jeff Zittel

The Zilwaukee Bridge has long been a source of controversy. It was initially delayed for years before construction started over the Saginaw River. It was even the butt of jokes, spawning a t-shirt with a picture of the bridge that simply read "OOPS"

Now a 36 million dollar reconstruction of the twin spans has been pushed back because of a controversy over sand.

Zilwaukee City Manager Jeff Zittel says M-DOT is having a problem with the contractor on the job. The company is Toebe Construction from Wixom. Specifically Zittel says the sand that's being used may be contaminated in some way. M-DOT has told the construction company they could proceed with the job, but the company is balking, fearing it's workers could be harmed in some way by the contaminated sand.

What does this mean for drivers? In the short term, not much. M-DOT would have had construction halted for the Memorial Day weekend anyway. Southbound traffic is currently re-routed around the bridge onto I-675. But Zittel worries about the long term. The project was slated to be completed in 2015. Now that could be in question. After the current sand-issue is resolved, Zittel would like construction crews to work overnights, to get the bridge back to normal traffic.