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More than 150 road projects in southeast Michigan are shut down or partially halted as a labor dispute continues between a contractor association and unionized road builders.

The dispute started Sept. 4 between the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association and the Operating Engineers Local 324. which has refused to bargain a new contract with the industry association after its five-year deal expired in June.

Read more: Union lockout halts work at some Mich. road projects

Since the lockout, 72 local agency projects and 89 MDOT projects are partially or fully shutdown. 

"Contractors can bring the workers back at any time ... I wish I had good news to report," said Dan McKernan, a spokesman for the union. "Every day I start with a call back to our main office to see if they've been put back to work, and every day I've been told no."

McKernan said they've refused to bargain because they feel the relationship with MITA has become "toxic for our members and for the industry." He said they differ on project labor agreements, subcontracting and advocating for union members. 

"It's just MITA ... it's the opposition on project labor agreements, some of their feelings on subcontracting sent our members jobs elsewhere, and it's worth noting that MITA has over 500 members and a minority of them are union. They’re advocating for members, which most are nonunion."

Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of MITA, said they're waiting for the union to make contact. 

"The industry continues to wait for the union to contact us or ratify the industry-proposed contract," he said. "We reached out to them when we gave them the lockout proposal ... the ball is clearly in their court."

Jeff Cranson, a MDOT spokesman, said MDOT is not party to the negotiations. 

"... All the major projects are facing potential impacts," said Cranson. "I hope to get a comprehensive list of MDOT projects potentially affected, but it’s very fluid. The specific local for that union may be locked out, but that does not necessarily mean the entire project is shut down."

Under MDOT contracts, road construction companies are required to maintain safe work zones for motorists in active project sites until the project is completed, officials said, even during delays due to labor disputes.

The contracts also call for MDOT to grant extensions because of labor disputes, similar to provisions for acts of God, the statement said. If disputes happen, contractors could incur costs for which they will not be compensated, officials said.
 
"MDOT takes delays very seriously, working very hard to alleviate congestion and the inconvenience to drivers," the statement said. "So, of course, we hope the two sides reach agreement soon."

Wayne County work affected:

  • US-24 from Interstate 96 to M-5
  • US-12 from Rosa Parks Boulevard to Trumbull Avenue
  • M-153 from Lotz to Wayne
  • Interstate 96 from Schaefer Highway easterly to Roosevelt Street
  • M-39 (Southfield Freeway) from Ford Road northerly to McNichols Road
  • Interstate 75 from Goddard Road to Rouge River and various locations on I-75
  • Blakely Drain to Goddard Road 
  • Bridge at Allen and Penn
  • River Rouge to Commerce Drive
  • Beck to Canton Center Road
  • Michigan Avenue to Ford Road
  • Cherry Hill Street from Telegraph to Outer Drive              
  • Wyoming Avenue (Ford to CSX RR) 
  • Allen to Dix Toledo Drive
  • Allen to Wick Road
  • Tyler to Ecorse Road
  • Six to Seven Mile
  • US-12 to Glenwood Avenue
  • Goddard to Wick
  • Mack Avenue from Dequindre Street to Alter Road, Mount Elliott Street from Jefferson to Conant Street, and Conant Street from Mount Elliott to Hamtramck Drive in Detroit 
  • Harris to Gentz
  • Jos. Campau to Conant Street
  • Gratiot and Chene
  • Detroit Riverwalk east of Chene Park
  • Savage Road (Harris to Gentz) in Huron and Sumpter Township
  • Middle Belt Road (Goddard to Wick) in Romulus
  • Van Horn Road (Inkster to Arsenal) in Brownstown Township    
  • Sibley Road (Telegraph to Racho) in Brownstown Township        
  • Toledo Bridges (Allen & Pennsylvania) in Southgate               
  • Outer Drive (Allen to Toledo) in Melvindale                               
  • Outer Drive (McNichols to Schaefer) in Detroit        
     

Macomb County work affected:

  • Mound Road and M-59
  • Hoover Road from 11 Mile Road to 13 Mile Road
  • Beaconsfield Street from Masonic Boulevard to 14 Mile Road
  • Mound Round from 14 Mile Road to 18 Mile Road
  • Harrington Street from Gratiot Avenue to Hillsdale Street
  • M-59 (Hall Rd) from M-53 to Romeo Plank Road
  • Interstate 696 from Dequindre Road to Neiman Road

Oakland County work affected:

  • Interstate 696 from Dequindre Road to Neiman Road
  • Nine Mile Road bridge between Berg and Lahser
  • Nine Mile to 10 Mile 
  • Brown to Gregory
  • Long Lake to Burningbush
  • 10 Mile to 11 Mile
  • Bell to Arlington
  • Auburn Road to Perry Street
  • Bridge over Huron River in Proud Lake State Rec area
  • West Nine Mile Road at Halsted Road
  • Square Lake to South Boulevard 
  • Dixie to Van Born
  • City limits Auburn Hills to Brown Road
  • 11 Mile to 13 Mile
  • 14 Mile to 16 Mile Road
  • M-59 to James K. Boulevard 
  • Orchard Lake to Long Lake and Maple
  • Perry Street Mill resurfacing
  • Pine Tree resurfacing in Orion Township
  • Dequindre widening reconstruction, Long Lake to Burning Bush in Troy/Sterling Heights
  • Opdyke bridge replacement over the Clinton River in Auburn Hills
  • Adams Road resurfacing, Square Lake to South Boulevard in Bloomfield Township and Troy
  • Tripp Road reconstruct, Dixie Highway to Van in Groveland Township
  • Baldwin widening/reconstruction, Gregory to Waldon in Orion Township
  • Culvert replacements and resurfacing on Walton Boulevard, Adams to Squirrel in Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills
  • South Boulevard, Adams to Crooks resurfacing in Rochester Hills and Troy
  • Wixom Road bridge replacement over Huron River in Commerce Township
  • Secord Lake Road bridge preventative maintenance in Addison Township

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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