I-696 sign

(Photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton)

Eastbound I-696 Traffic Shift, Ramp Closures Begin Next Week

August 14, 2018 - 2:34 pm

WARREN (WWJ) - The currently closed section of westbound I-696 in Macomb County will be ready for traffic next week -- but it won't be westbound traffic. 

Confused? Hang on and we'll explain.

According to Diane Cross with the Michigan Department of Transportation, eastbound traffic on 696, between I-94 and I-75, is going to switch over to the freshly laid pavement, so crews can work on the eastbound side. 

"Traffic that is already heading east on 696 from Oakland County -- coming in toward Woodward, I-75 --- you're gonna stay on the freeway, and we will be shifting you over," Cross said. "So you won't even really realize; your lane will just start shifting. You won't have to make any decisions if you're already on eastbound 696 coming through Oakland County."

For drivers who want to get on the freeway in Macomb County, however: "Unfortunately the last entry point for eastbound 696 will be I-75 -- which is really Oakland County," Cross said, with all 696 entrance ramps closed in Macomb County, and eastbound 696 exit ramps in Macomb County limited to Dequindre Road, Mound Road and Groesbeck Highway.

Also important to note: This does not change the situation on the westbound side. Westbound I-696 traffic will remain detoured through the end of the project.

Cross said they don't know the exact date and time that the shift will happen, so stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for updates.

Here are details from MDOT about this phase of the "Restore the Reuther" project in Macomb County:

COMMUNITIES AFFECTED:

Madison Heights, Warren, Center Line, and Roseville

TRAFFIC SHIFT AND RAMP CLOSURES:

The week of Aug. 19, 2018 (Exact date will be announced later this week)

PROJECT DETAILS:

The second phase of rebuilding I-696 in Macomb County, known as the "Restore the Reuther" project, requires eastbound traffic to be shifted onto the newly rebuilt westbound lanes to allow for the eastbound lanes to be rebuilt. During this second phase of the project, all entrance ramps will be closed in Macomb County and the exit ramps will be limited to Dequindre Road, Mound Road, and Groesbeck Highway. Drivers are reminded that westbound I-696 traffic remains detoured through the end of the project.

Project location: https://bit.ly/2Bbfopf

TRAFFIC IMPACT:

Initially, crews will reduce eastbound I-696 traffic to one lane from M-1 (Woodward Avenue) to Dequindre Road to perform preparation work for shifting traffic across the median to the newly rebuilt westbound lanes. This work includes paint striping, moving barrier walls, and ramp closures. The work is expected to begin approximately 7:30 p.m. and be reopened with three lanes by the following morning before rush hour. During this preparation work, the northbound and southbound I-75 ramps to eastbound I-696 will be closed and will reopen when completed.  

Once eastbound I-696 traffic is shifted, the exit ramps to Dequindre Road, Mound Road, and Groesbeck Highway will be the only exits available. All entrance ramps to eastbound I-696 will be closed through the end of the project.

In Oakland County, the freeway will remain open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will not be any work or closures performed this weekend but overnight work will resume Sunday evening in preparation for the weekend closure of eastbound I-696 from US-24 to I-75 the weekend of Aug. 24-27.

The project is expected to wrap up in November. 

For additional project details, go to www.MovingMacomb.org, which will also provide updates on lane restrictions and access to businesses affected by construction.