DETROIT (WWJ) – A busy freeway ramp is being shut down to help prevent traffic backups while crews work to replace a pedestrian bridge that collapsed in a crash last year.

The westbound I-96 ramps to southbound Southfield Freeway (M-39) were shut down Monday night and will remain closed through the end of August. The closure, which affects both local and express westbound I-96 ramps, was ordered to reduce congestion on M-39 and backups on the I-96 ramps.

Ramps from eastbound I-96 to southbound M-39 will remain open during construction.

Northbound and southbound M-39 continue to have only two lanes open near Joy Road for the pedestrian bridge project.

The $2.9 million project is being paid for by federal government emergency funds in order to expedite the bridge for community use.

The replacement bridge will include aesthetic improvements, such as decorative crosswalks and other community-developed enhancements, along with pedestrian lights to make the bridge more useful than the previous one.

The bridge collapsed on September 26, 2014 when it was struck by the bucket of a hydraulic garbage truck. The bridge came crashing down, completely blocking both sides of the freeway. The truck driver, a man in his 40s, was taken to the hospital by EMS and later pronounced dead.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 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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