Wayne County Commisioners tour jail fail site

In 2017, work could resume on the Wayne County Jail on Gratiot in Detroit, four years after came to a grinding halt. But it's not a for sure deal yet.

Wayne County Commissioners toured the site on Thursday. It's beena mess of dirt, concrete, and steel since the summer of 2013 when crews left the site.

On Wednesday, the county said work could resume on jail now that inspectors have given the go-ahead on continuing construction.

"It just verifies what we had been told initially that the structure in the ground there is sound," Wayne County Commissioner Chairman Gary Woronchak said.

RELATED: Wayne County Jail project 'structurally sound', construction to restart in 2017

Workonchak said the commissioners are satisfied with the structural integrity of the rusting steal beams,  pre- cast jail cells, masonry and concrete, despite being left to the elements since 2013.

"We already have $150 million in the ground and we don't to start from scratch - so we would have to make that up. And we have other design work and considerations that have already gone forward," he said.

The county pulled construction on the jail in 2013 due to cost overruns. Back then, $150 million was doled out, and one million more is lost each month it sits open vacant and blighted. County officials are asking for bids from contractors, and hoping to begin construction next year.

"Everything that could go wrong even before I got here has gone wrong. You've had work stoppage, lawsuits that were filed," Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said.

Earlier this year, Dan Gilbert expressed interest in building a soccer stadium on the site instead, but time is running out for him to make a move. Some Wayne county commissioners say there's still a small chance someone could bail the county out and buy the property by the beginning of next year but that would cost $100-$150 million.

"I would support a plan from Gilbert if it was sufficient funds to get us out of our debt and make us whole, we could go to some other location," Wayne County Commissioner Burton Leland said.

Commissioners say at this time that the only viable option is a jail.

"This is one of those deals where there's no good answer other than we have to move forward," Commisioner Raymond Basham said.

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