FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – A section of I-696 was closed Wednesday morning and traffic was backed up on side streets throughout the region because roadways were covered with a layer of ice.
The freeway’s eastbound shut down around 4 a.m. at Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills following a series of accidents, one of which caused a vehicle to ignite in flames. Drivers said the surface of the road was like a sheet of ice, and hitting the brakes caused their vehicles slide around. The lanes reopened to traffic around 6:50 a.m.
Other roads throughout the area, including Inkster Road in northern Wayne County and Quarton Road in Bloomfield Hills, were also slick as drivers struggled to power their vehicles up icy inclines.
Officials say the freezing of residual moisture on roadways overnight resulted in black ice particularly on bridges, exit ramps and overpasses.