When one door closes another one opens, or in the case of the abandoned Wayne County jail construction project, perhaps officials can finally get that facility opened. But the penal eyesore, a tangible brick and mortar project embarrassment, may finally become a finished project.
An interim settlement agreement brokered by Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans’ Administration, and approved by the Wayne County Commission, clears the way for engineering and design contractors to present new plans and cost estimates for completing the Gratiot Avenue Jail Project.
“My administration did not cause this mess with the jail, but we are going to clean it up,” said County Executive Evans. “Completing the Gratiot site may prove to be the most practical option, however with this agreement we have the flexibility to shift gears if a more viable opportunity is presented.”
AECOM Services and Ghafari Associates, parties to the original lawsuit, will develop two options – a 1,944 bed facility and a 1,504 bed facility — for the existing Gratiot Jail site. Both concepts will also include a tunnel between the jail at the Gratiot site and the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. AECOM and Ghafari will assume the costs to develop the concept plans, preliminary inspections and evaluations of the existing structure, and construction cost estimates if the County elects to proceed with the re-designed jail. The agreement establishes a target maximum construction cost for completing the jail at $175 million. The agreement calls for the concept plans and cost estimates to be submitted to Wayne County on or before Feb. 29, 2016.
Under the settlement agreement, Wayne County will have the authority to pursue or reject either concept plan or scrap both. If the County decides to proceed with one of the concept plans, AECOM and Ghafari will have 180 days to complete the re-design work for the chosen concept plan and prepare a bidding package for construction, so long as the estimated cost to finish the Gratiot site does not exceed the target maximum construction cost.