I-696 sign

(Photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton)

MDOT Reveals Start Date For Massive I-696 Closure

1 week away: April 27 at 9 PM

April 20, 2018 - 9:52 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - The big secret is out: The massive, summer-long closure of westbound I-696 will begin one week from today: Friday, April 27 at 9 p.m. 

The Michigan Department of Transportation on Friday announced the start date for the extensive construction project, which will start with crews closing the eastbound and westbound I-94 ramps to westbound I-696.

The closure of all access points/ramps is expected to be completed by 5 a.m. Saturday, April 28, according to MDOT -- which is spending $90 million on the "Restore the Reuther" project.

During construction, westbound I-696 in Macomb County will be completely shut down from Dequindre Road to I-94. The westbound closure will continue all summer and through November, while the eastbound side will remain open to traffic. Also, in Oakland County, there will be night and weekend lane closures from Dequindre to I-275, and up to 10 complete weekend closures with detours posted. 

The official detour in Macomb County will be westbound I-696 to westbound I-94 toward Detroit, to northbound I-75, then back to westbound I-696.Because that may not work for everyone, and I-94 traffic will be heavy, commuters are urged to plan and test some alternate routes immediately. 

Drivers who could use some help preping should check out the MovingMacomb.org website -- which offers detour maps, a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) section and more. 

Here are more details on the project from MDOT:

BACKGROUND: 

The I-696 freeway carries approximately 150,000 vehicles a day through Oakland and Macomb counties. The section in Oakland County has areas that need pavement repair and major maintenance. The section in Macomb County is in very poor condition and the concrete will be replaced.

This expedited $110 million project along the entire corridor is being performed with available funding this year before the nearby I-75 modernization project begins near I-696. If delayed, it may be until 2024 that the work could be performed, and only if funding would be available.

TRAFFIC IMPACT:

In Oakland County, the freeway will remain open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. with work being performed during overnights and weekends, including 10 weekends with freeway closures.

In Macomb County, 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 drivers.

To provide a freeway-to-freeway detour, the suggested detour for the westbound I-696 closure is westbound I-94 to northbound I-75 to westbound I-696. Eastbound I-94 traffic will also be detoured via northbound I-75 to westbound I-696.

For the latest on road closures and construction, keep your radio tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 (950 on the AM dial or 97.1 FM HD2) during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day. CLICK HERE to check our real-time traffic page.