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

- The county announced on Wednesday that the incomplete Wayne County Jail in Downtown Detroit is structurally sound and construction will resume in 2017.

The partially completed Wayne County Jail has sat at Gratiot and I-375 for almost four years untouched - an eyesore on Detroit's new skyline and downtown area. But construction is expected to restart next after a survey of the partially completed structure has revealed that it is structurally sound.

Wayne County received a report on Wednesday that the site is structurally sound and is suitable to restart construction in 2017. The county received a report from Mannik & Smith Group who visually and physically inspected the steel, concrete, and masonry on the site.

"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."

According to the county, the inspection revealed no issues of cracking or leaking joins with the installed sanitary and storm sewer lines. The structural investigation was done over a span of five weeks from October 5 to November 4, 2016.


Construction came to a grinding halt on the jail in June 2013. The county has spent $150 million on the partially completed project. It was initally expected to cost $300 million to build but costs had soared to $391 million by 2013 - two years after the project was started.

In April, billionaire businessmen Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores announced plans to bring a Major League Soccer team to Detroit in 2020. The plan would have built a stadium for the Detroit team on the site of the jail. Those plans are unknown at this time.

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