Delays and Increased Cost Result From the Zilwaukee, Michigan, Bridge Project Mishap

RCED-84-144: Published: Jun 27, 1984. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO presented its second report on the Zilwaukee, Michigan, bridge construction mishap and subsequent events.

GAO found that engineering experts agree that a failed expansion joint caused the mishap which increased bridge costs by at least $38 million. In addition, GAO found that bridge repairs were delayed and were not completed until March 1984 at a cost of $5.5 million. Furthermore, the mishap extended the completion date to 1987, a delay of more than 3 years. The Federal Government will provide 90 percent of the current estimated cost of $119 million for the bridge. The original construction contract was terminated because the State and the contractor reached an impasse on completing the bridge under the original contract. GAO noted that both the Federal and Michigan Governments believe that the bridge, when completed, will serve its original design life of 50 years.

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