BELLEVILLE — The start and stop construction work at the new Illinois State Police Metro-East Science Laboratory is under way again.
After construction stopped in September, workers were on the site Thursday, bringing in a crane and some steel, said Mayor Mark Eckert.
The last stoppage came shortly after a few beams were raised. The general contractor, Contegra Construction Co., and the steel fabricating firm, Advance Iron Works, got in a dispute about how the steel should be produced.
"Because of the fight, the project just stopped," said Chris Wills, spokesman for the Illinois State Capital Development Board, the overseer of the project.
Advance Iron Works is now in bankruptcy and a lawsuit between the two companies has been filed in Chicago, Wills said. Contegra has contracted with Affton Steel of Sauget to produce the rest of the project.
"Contegra has managed to get the steel that has already been produced. The new fabricator will have to look at what's been done to make sure it is OK," Wills said.
The new lab has been in the works since 2003 and finally got funding from Illinois Jobs Now! in 2011. But there was a bidding dispute that delayed the project. The low bidder was disqualified and then filed an objection.
After that was resolved, ground was broken on the project in February. Then there was a dispute over the steel connections which had to be designed to resist earthquake damage. That delayed work until late summer.
The latest delay means the estimated finishing date for the lab will be moved back to December of this year or maybe January 2014, Wills said.
Even with overtime and some Saturday work to get caught up, the project cost will remain at $37.8 million, he said. The companies will absorb any extra costs.
The 64,100-square-foot building at the corner of West Main and 23rd streets across from Lindenwood University-Belleville, will house the science lab that now is in the municipal complex at Fairview Heights.
The lab will provide service for 154 police agencies in eight surrounding counties.
Contact reporter Wally Spiers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2506.