ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Lane closures will slow traffic on westbound I-696 now and through the weekend after a fiery crash Monday did damage to concrete on the freeway.

Diane Cross, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), said Tuesday morning the left lane is blocked just before Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak.

Later in the week the squeeze will get tighter, she said, when two of the westbound lanes will be closed for further repairs in the lane where the fire occurred.

“The integrity of the concrete has been compromised,” Cross told WWJ Newsradio 950. “So we don’t feel that it’s safe for drivers to be using it; we’re afraid that it’ll just kind of fall apart underneath there.”

“I’m sure the hot heat isn’t helping at all, sucking moisture of out the roadway,” she added.

Cross said MDOT crews will jack hammer the median wall and reconstruct it, with that part of the work expected to take place Saturday and Sunday.

Miraculously, all involved walked away unharmed from the scene of the three-vehicle accident. Witnesses said two young woman in a Dodge Durango escaped the flames by climbed out the sun roof while the truck driver crawled through a window. One more vehicle, a car, was completely incinerated — but police said there were no injuries.

Cross said repairs should be wrapped up by sometime Monday.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ during Traffic and Weather on the 8s, 24-hours a day. Check for recent incidents now on the CBS Detroit Traffic Page.


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