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 Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ferndale officials aren’t sure when The dot will be completed. As construction was delayed by about 60 days, the city hopes to finish the project in September or October.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ferndale officials aren’t sure when The dot will be completed. As construction was delayed by about 60 days, the city hopes to finish the project in September or October.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Amid coronavirus delays, Ferndale hopes to complete ‘dot’ construction in fall

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 23, 2020

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FERNDALE — As cities all around Michigan make efforts to reopen, Ferndale has been working on restarting its construction of The Development on Troy, a mixed-use parking structure also known as “The dot.”

When COVID-19 started spreading in the United States in February, The dot’s construction had just passed the one-year anniversary of its groundbreaking. A month later, on March 16, the project came to a halt as everything began to shut down to stop the spread of the disease.

After almost two months of work stoppage, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order May 1 to reopen construction in the state May 7. While this meant The dot could resume construction on that day, City Manager Joe Gacioch said it was several weeks before work on the project could really get underway.

Gacioch explained that two factors caused the delay, one of which was the labor workforce had yet to return to construction companies so they could begin work.

“The percentage of labor workforce who actually reported back to the site, because they were comfortable with the public health conditions, was low,” he said. “That said, towards the end of (May) we almost had 90% of our construction force back on the site, which was great.”

The other factor, Gacioch said, was the lack of materials needed from supply chains to do the actual construction work.

“Supply chains have been questionable still,” he said. “So how to actually move goods and access through supply chains, both domestic and international, have been open questions for us throughout the month of May.”

The city manager further stated that they could order materials like steel and concrete from other states or countries, but right now they don’t “necessarily have clear supply chains.”

“It’s not like we could place an order and the order ships via Amazon. … It’s not as simple as it was, especially with international borders being closed,” he said.

Previously, the city of Ferndale had hoped to complete construction of The dot by June. Mayor Melanie Piana said they’re still waiting on a new completion date based on getting the project back working at full capacity.

“The city’s goal is to get it done as quick as possible now that construction has resumed,” she said.

Gacioch said he doesn’t have a clear expectation of when they might be able to finish the project this year, though he knows they’ve lost about 60 days of construction.

“Because I don’t understand the supply chain dynamics and I don’t understand how consistent the workforce is going to be, I’m simply adding 60 days,” he said. “But it could be more, it could be less. So I think a reasonable expectation is September and October is our target for completion.”

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