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DETROIT – Today, Wayne County accomplished another key step toward completing the unfinished jail at Gratiot.  The report of the site condition assessment confirms that the prior construction at the site is structurally sound and suitable for restarting construction next year. The report summarizes the findings by the Mannik & Smith Group (MSG) after the firm recently completed a visual and physical inspection of the structural steel, concrete and masonry onsite.

“The report is clear – the jail site is structurally sound.   Construction can restart next year,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “We are doing our due diligence to make the best possible decision for Wayne County and move this project forward. These results strengthen the case for completing the jail and will be included in the information we provide prospective bidders on the project.”

The findings revealed no structural damage to the steel, concrete and masonry work already completed onsite. The inspection also revealed no issues of cracking or leaking joints with the installed sanitary and storm sewer lines. The report did highlight some cosmetic issues such as discoloration and oxidation of exposed steel or hairline cracking in some concrete surfaces that were normal for concrete work. However, it affirmed the overall structural integrity of the site.

“The site is in very good condition for construction to start again. Our assessment revealed no structural concerns, which speaks to the quality of work,” said Francis J. Biehl, the senior project manager for MSG.

The field investigation covered the entire site, including the jail cell units installed onsite and those stored at an alternative location. MSG completed the assessment in five weeks from Oct. 5 to Nov. 4 before submitting a final report to the County on Nov. 16. The fee for this engagement was not to exceed $43,604 and the final cost is expected to be less than the contracted amount.

This condition assessment was the first such testing performed by the County on the site since the project was halted in June 2013.  Under the previous administration, an estimated $151 million was spent in construction, acquisition and design of the jail with much of the work at the site completed underground.

Working with its Owner’s Representative, Carter Goble Associates LLC, the County issued an RFQu in September, which has a deadline for response of Friday, Nov. 18. The County’s goal is to issue a design-build Request for Proposals (RFP) no later than January. Once the RFP is issued, the County will not consider any alternative to the Gratiot site.

“There’s been no shortage of speculation about this project, but we’re continuing to move forward with the Gratiot site,” Evans said. “Once we issue the RFP, we’re not looking back. It’ll be full speed ahead on the Gratiot site.”