Work on the St. Croix River bridge is slowing after more than 100 ironworkers were pulled off the job last week because of a contract dispute, the Minnesota Department of Transportation project manager said Tuesday.
Michael Beer said as many as 120 ironworkers left the site Friday because of the dispute between the ironworkers' employer, J&L Steel of Hudson, Wis., and the general contractor, Lunda-Ames Joint Venture.
Details of the disagreement were not disclosed, and neither company responded Tuesday to inquiries seeking comment.
Beer said the ironworkers had been hired to tie rebar that holds massive bridge segments together. Work continued on the site until Tuesday as carpenters and concrete pourers worked on completed metal portions, but "the work obviously is slowed down now," he said.
The ironworkers belong to Iron Workers Local 512 in St. Paul. The union had interceded in the dispute, but attempts to reach business agent Charlie Roberts for comment were unsuccessful.
J&L Steel officials were expected to meet Tuesday with Lunda-Ames to try to resolve differences, said LouAnne Berg, J&L's chief executive.
Beer didn't want to talk about the nature of the dispute, saying it was between the contractor and subcontractor and he didn't want to mischaracterize it.