GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Those eagerly awaiting the opening of westbound I-96 will have to keep waiting.
The Michigan Department of Transportation had originally posted that the highway would be open this week, and then amended to opening by the end of the day September 13. MDOT-West Michigan tweeted Thursday afternoon that due to a labor situation, the opening of the highway has been delayed again.
The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and Operating Engineers Local 324 are currently at an impasse on a collective bargaining agreement and several crews have been locked out from construction projects statewide. A major construction project in Ottawa County has also been slowed.
Governor Rick Snyder is weighing in on the labor dispute, urging both sides to come together and resolve their differences. He says he’s also contacting Attorney General Bill Schuette to see if the dispute can be classified as an official labor dispute.