I-696 sign

(Photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton)

I-696 Construction Update: Here's What's Back Open And When The Rest Will Be

January 03, 2019 - 3:04 pm

WARREN (WWJ) - It's long-awaited, and quite welcome news for tens of thousands of metro Detroit commuters.

Following an eight-month closure, the Michigan Department of Transportation announced Thursday afternoon that all lanes are back open on eastbound I-696 from I-75 to I-94 in Macomb County -- with all exits back open as well.

All entrance ramps to eastbound I-696 have also reopened, with the exception of the Mound Rd. and Hoover Rd. entrances, which MDOT says will reopen next week.

Meanwhile, as some signage and lane work continues on the westbound side of the freeway. MDOT says westbound I-696 will fully reopen to traffic this coming Monday, Jan. 7. 

After an irritating wait (longer than expected due to a labor dispute) for completion of the $90 million repaving project, local drivers talking to WWJ's Jon Hewett were ecstatic to hear this update.

"Oh, awesome! That's my favorite freeway...I've got it back -- yay!" said Thursday Miles of Detroit. "I travel that every day; it's been tough."

Tom Miller of Eastpointe had a similar reaction.

"It makes my commute a lot easier," he said. "Especially on the service drives -- getting out -- because I'm right on the service drive, so trying to get out during the day it'll be a lot easier now."

It's estimated that the I-696 freeway carries approximately 150,000 vehicles a day through Oakland and Macomb counties.

Check Michigan.gov/drive for all project details and keep your radio tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest roadwork updates during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day.