MACOMB COUNTY (WWJ) – “I don’t even know an alternate … it was bad enough when they closed down I-75 and you’ve got to detour — that was bad enough – this is really going to be horrible,” said drivers along the project’s path.
A new major road construction project along I-696 will start next spring. The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to close all westbound lanes of I-696 between I-94 and I-75 so the concrete can be replaced — the project is expected to last until the end of 2018.
A public meeting on the project is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Warren City Hall. There are 150,000 cars and trucks that travel that stretch of freeway each day. MDOT says the $90 million project must be completed while funding is available and before the nearby I-75 modernization project begins.
At the October meeting the public will have the opportunity to meet the construction team and learn current details, including schedule and detours according to MDOT.
The I-696 freeway carries approximately 150,000 vehicles a day through Macomb County and is in poor condition. A project is currently being designed to replace the concrete on I-696 between I-75 and I-94 beginning in spring 2018 and will be completed late 2018. The bridges over I-696 are in good to fair condition due to investment on rehabilitation and maintenance-type work over the years, and will receive additional maintenance work.
This expedited $90 million project must be completed while funding is available and before the nearby I-75 modernization project begins. If delayed, it may be until 2024 before the work could be performed, only if funding would be available.
Eastbound I-696 will remain open from I-75 to I-94 while the westbound lanes will be closed from I-94 to I-75 for the entire project. The closing of one direction of the freeway will provide a safer work zone for construction crews and for drivers.
To provide a freeway-to-freeway detour, the suggested detour for westbound I-94 is northbound I-75 to westbound I-696. Eastbound I-94 traffic will also be detoured via northbound I-75 to westbound I-696.
The open meeting will take place at Warren City Hall on Oct. 24, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.