Archive for June, 2009

Looking Ahead to the 4th!

June 30, 2009

newsteamI honestly can’t believe this weekend is the 4th of July! It came so FAST and out of nowhere! So whether your hitting the road or going by air…you will more than likely be headed up north to cottages, camping, or maybe even to Cedar Point with the family. Well I am here to tell you, there is GREAT news on the construction scene.

If you’ve been watching Local 4 News lately…then you’ve seen my reports regarding the I-75 Gateway Project. You can check them out below on


Story #1:

Story #2:

gateway projectIT’S SCHEDULED TO OPEN JULY 2nd…THIS THURSDAY! YAY! But that’s not all… ANOTHER stretch of I-75 that’s been giving metro Detroit drivers fits for more than a year now is set to reopen this week alongside the big reopening of the freeway near the Ambassador Bridge.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says it plans to have all lanes open on I-75 Downriver between South Huron River Drive and Gibraltar Road Thursday afternoon, around the same time the state will reopen the freeway in southwest Detroit.

Like the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, this one’s been a thorn in the side of drivers since it kicked off in April 2008. The expressway, normally three lanes each way, has been down to two lanes southbound and one northbound for months, leading to frequent backups. That stretch of the freeway normally carries nearly 74,000 vehicles a day, on average, according to state traffic counts.

So let’s talk holiday travel, here’s what MDOT has in store….


  • MDOT is removing over 65 percent of lane restrictions on state routes this weekend to accommodate Fourth of July holiday traffic.
  • Beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 2, and continuing until 6 a.m. Monday, July 6, 111 out of 164 projects statewide will be free of lane restrictions.

    “We urge all motorists to drive with caution through work zones during this busy summer holiday weekend,” said MDOT Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Temporarily suspending many of our projects will make travel more convenient over the long Fourth of July holiday when an estimated 1.1 million motorists will be on the road.”

    To help make this holiday weekend a safe and enjoyable one, motorists are advised to obey the posted speed limits, drive with caution, and pay close attention to road signs and orange barrels as they navigate construction zones.  Since 2006, highway construction zone speed-limit signs with “Where Workers Present 45” have required motorists to reduce their speed to 45 mph where workers are present. Motorists can maintain the posted speed limit, except when in the vicinity of workers. This change helped reduce the number of work zone crashes, injuries and fatalities last year, while improving traffic flow in those areas.


53 work zones that will remain active, or have some lane restrictions, during the Fourth of July weekend.

For more info on where construction will be over the weekend…tune into Local 4 News Morning Thursday July 2nd! I will reporting throughout the morning show LIVE from St. Clair County about ongoing holiday construction!

According to AAA:


  • Holiday travel down, air traffic up!
  • AAA projects that fewer Americans will travel during the July 4th holiday weekend this year than in 2008.
  • 37.1 million Americans will take a trip of 50 or more miles during the weekend
  • That would be down 1.9 percent from the 37.8 million who traveled during the same period last year
  • Air travel: 4.9 percent increase in bookings for the weekend this year.
  • AAA projects a 2.6 percent decline in auto trips, dropping from 33.4 million last year to 32.6 million in 2009.

Weekend4Cast: Construction

June 26, 2009

heather zara headshotLocal 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Here is a detailed list of the construction scheduled for this weekend; organized by freeway/roadway. As always, all projects are weather permitting and subject to change. There are no full freeway closures… Just a couple of ramp closures that you need to know about if you’re driving through Belleville or Romulus.

I-94/I-275 Interchange

Expect the following ramp closure on Saturday from 7am-7pm

  • WB I-94 to SB I-275
  • NB I-275 to WB I-94
  • Detours will be posted.


In Oakland County…

  • Double lane closure between M-10 and I-75 in both directions
  • 3 lanes will be closed at Woodward in both directions
  • 9pm Friday-5am Monday
  • Use Mile Roads as alternate to avoid congestion

In Macomb County…

  • Down to one lane between Van Dyke and Dequindre in both directions
  • 8pm Friday-5am Monday
  • Mound off ramps still closed
  • Use Mile Roads to avoid congestion

SB I-75

  •  Only one lane open from I-375 to I-96
  • 4am Saturday-8pm Sunday


In Detroit…

  • WB Express lanes closed from Davison Avenue to Outer Drive
  • All traffic will be routed to the WB Local lanes
  • Saturday 7am-7pm

In Oakland County…

  • WB I-696 to WB I-96 down to one lane
  • NB I-275 to WB I-96 down to one lane
  • WB I-96 down to 2 lanes from I-275  to Novi Road for paving
  • EB  I-96 will have 2 lanes open from Novi to M-5
  • 10pm Friday-5am Monday

US-12 Michigan Avenue

  • Down to one lane between M-39 and Greenfield in both directions
  • 9pm Friday-5am Monday

M-153 Ford Road

  • Down to one lane at Evergreen in both directions
  • 9pm Friday-5am Monday


  • One 15 minute total closure at Ryan Road in both directions
  • Sometime between 6am and 8am on Saturday


  • Intermittent single lane closures between 18 Mile and 26 Mile in both directions
  • 8pm Friday-5am Monday

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Local4News and @HeatherZara. See you Monday on Local 4 News Morning.

2009 Target Fireworks: Parking & Road Closures

June 23, 2009

newsteamIt’s really starting to feel like summer around here. Mainly because of the 80 degree weather ((finally)) but also because fireworks are going to be happening all over Metro-Detroit, starting with Detroit! But before the fun begins we need to get you down there..that means finding the best place to park and how to get around the road closures!!!


The Parade Company and Target are pleased to announce the annual Detroit summertime tradition – the Target Fireworks – will take place on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:06 p.m. The Target Fireworks, choreographed by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, is one of the world’s most spectacular and largest fireworks display in the nation with more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects lighting up the international skyline over the Detroit River.



  • From 6 a.m.-2 a.m., no parking will be permitted on Michigan or south of Michigan (between Rosa Parks on the west and I-375 on the east). NO PARKING signs will be posted.
  • Beginning at 2 p.m., Atwater will be closed from Chene to Third.
  • No spectator viewing will be permitted from the Riverfront Promenade between Civic Center/Third and Bates.
  • No spectator viewing will be permitted on E. Jefferson from Woodward to Randolph, or island.· Parking garages and surface lots located south of Fort will be accessible during the evening depending on traffic flow.


  1. Hart Plaza
  2. Belle Isle (viewing from the MacArthur Bridge will not be permitted)
  3. Chene Park, St. Aubin Park, Riverside Park, Mt. Elliot Park, Tri-centennial Park
  4. Owen Park and Erma Henderson Park
  5. Historic Fort Wayne – There is an entry fee per car. (No alcohol or BBQ grills)


  • Cobo Hall Garage $10 : 475 Washington Boulevard
  • Cobo Roof $10: 625 West Congress
  • Cultural Center Garage $ 5: 41 Farnsworth
  • Ford Underground Garage $10: 30 East Jefferson
  • Grand Circus Garage $15: 1600-01 Woodward Avenue
  • Joe Louis Arena Garage $10: 900 West Jefferson
  • Millennium Garage $10: 432 West Congress
  • Premier Garage $10: 1206-08 Woodward Avenue
  • Cadillac/Farmer Lot $10 : 1025 Farmer



There are a lot…so prepare yourself!

  • Jefferson Avenue will be closed to eastbound and westbound traffic between the Chrysler Freeway (I-375) and Griswold, except for emergency vehicles. All other eastbound vehicles will be routed north onto the Chrysler service drive.

  • No northbound or southbound traffic will be admitted onto Woodward Avenue between Fisher Freeway and Congress except D-DOT and SMART bus
  • Jefferson Avenue will be closed to eastbound and westbound traffic between the Chrysler Freeway (I-375) and Griswold, except for emergency vehicles. All other eastbound vehicles will be routed north onto the Chrysler service drive.
  • West Jefferson from Cobo Center westbound will be closed. Parking will be prohibited on West Jefferson, on Civic Center Drive and on Atwater to St. Aubin
  • Outbound traffic will be routed on West Jefferson from the Joe Louis Arena Garage to Rosa Parks Boulevard; traffic will then proceed north on Rosa Parks to the freeways.
  • Traffic on Gratiot Avenue between I-375 and Randolph will be routed one way northbound only 
  • Third Street at West Jefferson will be closed to the public and restricted for emergency vehicle use.
  • Fort Street traffic between Cabacier and Rosa Parks Boulevard will be restricted to residents of the Riverfront Towers Apartments/Condominiums.
  • Eastbound traffic on Fort Street will be allowed to turn right onto Griswold and proceed to the Lodge Freeway.
  • Traffic on Trumbull Avenue between W. Fort and Fisher Freeway will be routed to travel northbound only.
  • Traffic on Larned and Congress will be allowed to flow in respective directions, with no southbound turns except vehicles en route to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel via Randolph.
  • Michigan Avenue traffic will be westbound only.
  • All traffic proceeding south on Griswold will be directed to the Lodge Freeway.
  • Eastbound Lafayette traffic will turn right at Griswold and proceed to westbound West Jefferson to northbound Lodge freeway.
  • St. Antoine traffic flow will be one way northbound from Atwater after the fireworks display.
  • Woodbridge, Franklin, and Atwater between St. Antoine and Rivard will be one way, eastbound throughout the evening.
  • Rivard will be one way northbound from Atwater to Lafayette after the fireworks display.
  • E. Grand Blvd. will be used for outbound traffic from Belle Isle. Belle Isle traffic will proceed northbound on East Grand Boulevard and eastbound on East Jefferson.
  • No parking on West Jefferson between 23rd and St. Anne
  • All the main streets – Michigan, Grand River, Gratiot, E. Grand Blvd. and W. Grand Blvd. – will remain open to allow motorists access to freeways. Woodward will remain open north of the Fisher Freeway service drive

Weekend Construction 6/19 – 6/21

June 18, 2009
newsteamThe time has come yet again….for WEEKEND ROAD WORK! I always get so excited for Saturday and Sunday…but realize Friday will always be a very busy one for me at work! There is a lot on tap, especially during Fathers Day weekend…((as usual)) Only one full closure this weekend ((but isn’t that enough!?))


M-39 (Southfield Freeway)

In Wayne County:

A Michcon permit has been approved to allow for a full freeway closure of southbound M-39 at US-12 (Michigan Ave) in Dearborn to allow crews to inspect a gas main under the freeway.

  • During the full closure, all southbound traffic will be routed onto the southbound service drive and will be allowed back on the freeway south of Michigan Avenue.
  • The full closure will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday. By 5 a.m. on Monday, a single lane will open on this two-lane section of M-39 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24 when the second lane is expected to open.

I-94/I-275 interchange

In Wayne County:

The following ramp movements will be closed on Saturday for pavement repair.

  • Westbound I-94 to southbound I-275
  • Northbound I-275 to westbound I-94
  • The ramps will be closed from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and detours will be provided for all ramp movements.


In Wayne County:

  • Bridge inspections will result in single lane closures on eastbound I-94 from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday.
  • The locations are a left lane closure at I-75 in Detroit, a right lane closure at French Road in Detroit, and a right lane closure at Moross Roads (Seven Mile) in Harper Woods.


In Detroit:

  • Crews will close the eastbound I-96/northbound I-75 connector road to M-10 for utility upgrades and sign replacement work.
  • The closure will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and end by 8 p.m. on Sunday. During the closure, a detour will be posted for ramp traffic looking to access M-10. The Rosa Parks ramp to northbound I-75 will remain open while this work is being conducted.

In Oakland County:

  • Ongoing bridge and pavement repair will result in a single lane closure (two lanes open) on eastbound and westbound I-96 between I-275 and Novi Road.
  • In conjunction, the existing two lane ramp from eastbound I-96 to southbound I-275 will be reduced to a single lane, and the existing two-lane ramp from northbound I-275 to westbound I-96 will be reduced to a single lane.
  • These restrictions will go into effect at 9 p.m. on Friday and end by 5 a.m. on Monday.




In Oakland County:

  • Ongoing bridge and pavement repair will result in a two lane closure on eastbound and westbound I-696 between I-75 and Franklin Road.
  • In conjunction, eastbound and westbound I-696 will lose an additional lane (only one lane open) on the bridge that carries I-696 over Woodward Avenue for bridge joint replacement. The joint replacement work is weather dependent and will be canceled if rain occurs.
  • These lane restrictions will be in place beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday and ending by 5 a.m. on Monday.

In Macomb County:

  • Eastbound and westbound I-696 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between Van Dyke Ave (M-53) and Dequindre for ongoing bridge work. The restrictions begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and end by 5 a.m. on Monday.

M-53 (Van Dyke Freeway)

In Macomb County:

  • Intermittent single lane closures on northbound and southbound M-53 between 18 Mile and 27 Mile roads for ongoing pavement and bridge repair.
  • These intermittent single lane closures begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and end by 5 a.m. on Monday.

M-102 (8 Mile Road)

  • At the Detroit/Southfield border:
  • Westbound 8 Mile Road will be reduced to a single lane from M-10 (Lodge Freeway) to M-39 (Southfield Freeway) for resurfacing.
  • The lane restrictions begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and end at 5 a.m. on Monday.


 Here’s a sneak peak about construction beginning the week of Monday, June 22!sweet shot

M-102 (8 Mile Road):

At the Detroit/Southfield border:

Eastbound 8 Mile Road will be reduced to a single lane for ongoing bridge and pavement work from M-39 (Southfield Freeway) to M-10 (Lodge Freeway). The lane restrictions are limited to the overnight hours beginning each evening at 8 p.m. and ending the following morning by 5 a.m. The work is scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

M-53 (Van Dyke Freeway):

In Macomb County, beginning at 5 a.m. on Monday, crews will close the entrance ramp from 26 Mile Road to southbound M-53 for ramp reconstruction and realignment. The ramp will remain closed until late July and a detour will be posted for 26 Mile Road traffic looking to access southbound M-53.


In Wayne County, in conjunction to the ongoing reconstruction of I-75 between Gibraltar Road and South Huron River Drive, we are expecting to remove the traffic shift and have southbound I-75 traffic using the newly rebuilt southbound lanes by 5 p.m. on Monday. Southbound traffic will still have two lanes open, while northbound will maintain only a single lane.


Gateway Project to open by Holiday? YES IT WILL!

June 17, 2009


It’s official: The state says I-75 near the Ambassador Bridge is now set to reopen on July 2, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. MDOT said this morning it’s aiming for an afternoon reopening a week from today on I-75.

MDOT spokeswoman Brenda Peek said there will be a news conference on Monday morning and a ribbon cutting with residents and business owners from southwest Detroit on hand to celebrate the milestone

Much work remains to be done. Ramps between the bridge and the freeways, for example, won’t open until the fall.

**MDOT also announced it has reopened ramps from the north Lodge Freeway to west I-94 and the south Lodge to east I-94**


newsteamI CAN’T BELIEVE IT! It is the moment every traffic reporter (and Michigan driver) has been waiting for….THE END of the I-75 Gateway project! Ok, it’s not here YET, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Metro-Detroiters can rejoice I-75 is set to re-open nearly half a year in advance!

If you missed my story on Local4 News at noon about the Gateway Projects progress… I will be live tonight on Local 4 News at 6pm!


The Michigan Department of Transportation hasn’t set an exact date but plans to have the main freeway open to traffic by the Fourth of July holiday, if the weather cooperates. ((Fireworks will be going off for more reasons then one now!!)) But hopes are high because the state has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony with regional leaders and those affected by the project for June 29.


“We’re five months early on the opening,” said MDOT senior resident engineer Victor Judnic, who has overseen the $170-million project to revamp I-75, part of I-96 and the freeway interchange at the busy border crossing with Canada.

gateway001There’s still plenty of work ahead. Judnic said ramps at the bridge interchange will reopen as they’re ready through the fall, as will a corresponding upgrade to the bridge plaza Traffic between the bridge and freeway will continue on detours largely unchanged while the work continues. Some work, including landscaping, will last into May 2010.

MDOT spokesman Bill Shreck said the department wanted to finish the project, the largest single contract in MDOT history. It kicked off February 2008, diverting drivers to detours using I-94 in combination with I-275, Telegraph and Southfield roads.

“We understood that this was a hardship to the motoring public” and residents of southwest Detroit, Shreck said.

Lethal Driving Mistakes (we all make them!)

June 16, 2009

newsteamIn an ideal world, drivers would execute every road maneuver with precision and ease. Sadly, we do not live in a never-never land, and not everyone walks away from metal-to-metal mayhem. Truth is that drivers are not created equal.  The common thread is that they can all turn a pleasant day on the road into a surreal nightmare in the blink of an eye.

Everyone is guilty of making common driving mistakes that can endanger us all. Think about it:  can you recall stupid moves you’ve made throughout the years?

To help you stay safe behind the wheel, here’s a list of 10 driving behaviors to avoid:


The No. 1 fatal mistake made by drivers is perhaps the most simple: not staying in their own lane — i.e., running off the road or drifting into the adjacent lane. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2007, 15,574 people died in crashes where the driver simply couldn’t stay in the lane.

Driving While Drowsy
“Driving a vehicle when you are fatigued is as dangerous as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs,” National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. According to the NHTSA, in 2007 fatigued driving caused the deaths of 1,404 people, and more traffic fatalities occurred during the hours when most people are accustomed to being asleep (3 a.m. to 6 a.m.) than at any other time of day.

Drinking and Driving
Every 40 minutes someone dies in a drunk-driving accident.  The 21- to 34-year-old set is responsible for well over half of alcohol-infused fatal crashes. According to the NHTSA, 60 percent of drivers who died after dark in 2007 were legally drunk. Alcohol is also a factor in half of pedestrian traffic deaths — both drivers and pedestrians are the culprits.

You get panicky when the wheels of your SUV hit the rumble patch on the shoulder of the highway, so you throw the steering wheel in the opposite direction to get the vehicle back on the road. This is a classic example of over-correcting or over-steering, and it’s a particularly perilous maneuver when you’re behind the wheel of an SUV driving on the highway at high speeds. Consider it a rollover waiting to happen. More than 4 percent of automobile fatalities a year occur because of drivers over-correcting.

Racing or simply going too fast for road conditions comprises the second highest cause of death in fatal crashes, according to the NHTSA. Once you hit 55 mph, you’re in the danger zone: 30 percent of fatalities occur at 55 or above.  Fatality rates for speeding motorcyclists are shockingly high: In 2007, speeding was a factor in 36 percent of motorcycle fatalities. Of those, 41 percent of drivers and more than half of passengers were not wearing helmets (only 20 states and the District of Columbia require helmets).

Failure to Yield Right of Way
For drivers age 70 and above, failing to yield while merging into traffic is the top cause of crashes. In a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers 80 and older simply fail to see the other vehicle they should be yielding to. Drivers 70 to 79 see the vehicle but misjudge whether they have time to proceed ahead of it. Failure to yield right of way was the fifth leading cause of fatal crashes in 2007.

Traffic Down in Southeast Michigan

June 12, 2009

newsteamYou may have noticed it on your drive to work, I know I have during my traffic reports… but now there’s more proof: The region’s traffic levels continue to decline amid deep economic troubles, a new report says.


The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments said this morning that weekday traffic volumes dropped by 3% from 2007 to 2008 in the seven-county region. The decline follows a 5% drop in traffic volumes from 2002 to 2007.

SEMCOG said its numbers are based on traffic analysis at 3,000 locations in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, St. Clair and Monroe counties. SEMCOG is the region’s metropolitan planning agency.

traffic 1

The agency blamed the declines on the poor economy, high gas prices and people changing how they travel.

SEMCOG notes the region’s traffic drops follow state and national trends marked by less demand for gasoline, which in turn is leading to dwindling road funding from fuel taxes. bergq7

Stay tuned to Local 4 News tonight at 6pm for more on the decline in traffic volumes and watch it means for our State.


Weekend Construction 6/12 – 6/15th

June 11, 2009

 Local 4 Traffic Blog By Lauren Podell newsteam

Going to Game 7? or Dane Cook? Maybe…The Red Air Races? or what about The Michigan International Speedway…with so much going on why don’t we throw a little construction in the mix to make things interesting! Well here it is YET AGAIN! But this time there is so much going on this weekend, we’ll all really need to pay attention to what’s open and what’s closed! There is one FULL freeway closure taking place, so get ready for a ton of orange and of course you’ll find a lot of I-696!

I will be LIVE tomorrow on Local 4 News at Noon, 4pm, 5pm and 11pm with weekend construction updates!



In Macomb County:

  • Eastbound and westbound I-696 will be CLOSED between Dequindre and M-53 (Van Dyke Freeway) for bridge demolition.
  • The full freeway closure begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and ends at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
  •  Two bridges (eastbound service drive over I-696, westbound service drive over I-696) will be removed during the full closure. Traffic in each direction will be routed to the service drives.
  • After the closure is lifted, two lanes on eastbound and westbound I-696, between Dequindre and Van Dyke, will remain closed until 5 a.m. on Monday.

In Oakland County:

  • Eastbound and westbound I-696 will have two lanes open between Southfield Road and I-75 for ongoing bridge work. The double lane closure begins at 10 p.m. on Friday and ends at 5 a.m. on Monday.
  • Eastbound and westbound I-696 will have a single lane open between Southfield Road and Franklin Road for ongoing bridge work. The double lane closure begins at 9 p.m. on Friday and ends at 5 a.m. on Monday. The two-lane closure is needed for ongoing bridge repair.
  • Eastbound I-696 will have two lanes closed from Middlebelt Road to Franklin Road for ongoing bridge and pavement repair. The double lane closure will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and end at 5 a.m. on Monday.


In Oakland County:

  • Eastbound I-96 will be reduced to two lanes from Novi Road to I-275 for ongoing pavement and bridge repair. At the same time, the existing two-lane ramp from eastbound I-96 to southbound I-275 will be reduced to a single lane.
  • The lane restrictions begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and end at 5 a.m. on Monday.



In Wayne County:

  • The expected rain today will most likely push the opening of the left lane of northbound I-275, from 5 Mile to 6 Mile roads, until this weekend. The right lane was expected to be open sometime Friday, June 12 but will now open up sometime prior to Monday June 15.

M-53 Freeway

In Macomb County:

  • Beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday, northbound M-53 will be reduced to a single lane from 25 Mile to 27 Mile roads. Southbound M-53 will be reduced to a single lane from 24 Mile to 18 Mile roads.
  • Intermittent single lane closures are expected on northbound M-53 from 18 Mile to 25 Mile roads from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

M-39 (Southfield Freeway)

In Detroit:

  • As a reminder, the southbound M-39 exit to Joy is now closed and will remain closed until late June for Michcon gas main work on the service drive.

M-153 (Ford Road)

In Wayne County:

  • Eastbound and westbound Ford Road will be reduced to a single lane at Evergreen Road in Dearborn for ongoing bridge work. The lane closures begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and will be removed by 5 a.m. on Monday.

What Are YOU Doing This Weekend?!

June 10, 2009


So it’s almost the weekend and there’s so much going on this weekend, I can’t even wrap my head around it!  Let’s see…

  1. Game 7 at the Joe (after a very disappointing loss last night)
  2. Dane Cook at the Palace of Auburn Hills (which I will be attending)
  3. The Red Bull Air Races
  4.  Michigan International Speedway: Friday- Racing for Wildlife    Saturday-Nascar Truck Series    Sunday- Like Lock 400

SO here is my dilemma… months ago my boyfriend and I bought tickets, for us and 4 others, to see Dane Cook at the Palace of Auburn Hills this weekend! Normally we would all be thrilled and excited to go but… HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM! After a VERY disappointing and unexpected Red Wings loss last night we now have to endure a very stressful Game 7, WHICH falls on the same night as DANE COOK! NOW WHAT?


VS. red wings

I think it’s safe to assume we all know how to get to The Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills! As of now, there is no construction affecting the drive to either venue. But we all know that can change come Friday when I get the weekend construction e-mail!


Windsor is hosting the third round of the Red Bull Air Race this weekend, but there still are tickets available for prime viewing areas in Detroit. You can get tickets to the view the race from the Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza and Joe Louis Arena. MDOT has no major construction in the heart of Downtown Detroit, so all of you plane lovers and speedsters will be in good shape! ((FYI:Tickets for general admission at East Rivard Plaza are sold out.  The event drew about 750,000 people on both sides of the border last year hopefully it’ll do the same this year!))


That leaves the Michigan International Speedway festivities!  MDOT will extend the special one-way pattern for outbound traffic on race Sundays at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Check out this offical MDOT/MIS Map:

On race Sundays, June 14 and Aug. 16:
  • Local roads near MIS will become one-way inbound on Sunday morning starting at 6 a.m. They will become one-way outbound when there are 50 laps left in the race. All routes will be signed.
  • Special note to motorists: M-50 will be one-way outbound from Brooklyn to Napoleon after the race; US-12 will have two lanes outbound all the way to M-52; and M-50 will have all lanes outbound from US-12 south to Onstead Highway. (See map.)
  • New this year, all outbound traffic at Vicary Road and US-127, after the race, will only be allowed to go north, or to turn right, on to US-127.
  • Outbound traffic on US-127 will have use of the paved shoulders along US-127, from Vicary/Taylor Road north to M-50 after the race. Motorists are encouraged to use the shoulder as an extra lane when exiting MIS on race days.

For the latest on traffic conditions, listen to WRIF(101.1 FM), official sponsor of MIS 


So what are YOU doing this weekend!?

Leave a comment, email me at, or TWEET me at @LaurenPodell

YIKES! I-696 Slows Down for 2 Months!

June 8, 2009

newsteamTHIS JUST IN! Breaking construction news out of the Local 4 traffic center…. MDOT just released new information about construction on I-696 in Macomb County and I-94 in Detroit. Oh and guess when it starts? TODAY!



749px-I-696_svgIn Macomb County, the left lane of eastbound and westbound I-696 is closed between I-94 and Hayes Road, along with a single lane on the ramp from eastbound I-94 to westbound I-696. NOW…this isn’t all that NEW but here’s the catch, these lane restrictions will remain in place until early August. The purpose of the left lane closure is for upgrading the freeway lighting and making repairs to the median wall that separates eastbound and westbound traffic.

Expect delays. The lane closures are likely to impact westbound I-94 traffic approaching I-696 during the morning commute as well eastbound I-696 traffic approaching Groesbeck. The work also could slow down eastbound I-94 ramps to west I-696.

600px-I-94_svgIn Detroit, crews have reduced the West Grand Blvd overpass above I-94 to a single lane for eastbound drivers. The purpose is the need for repair to portions of the substructure over the westbound lanes of I-94. At this time, no lane closures are needed on westbound I-94. When that changes, I will update all on this email list.




UPDATE: Beverly Hills, Mich. — The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) expects to re-open Union Lake Road between Commerce and Richardson roads in Commerce Township on approximately Thursday, June 18, weather permitting. The road has been closed since mid-April while RCOC completed the resurfacing of the road, including excavating a section of bad soil under the road and slightly reducing the angle of a curve to improve safety.

This was the final phase of a larger project that was mostly completed last year, and which included resurfacing Union Lake Road from Richardson to Cooley Lake, with the exception of this section. The project also included extending some center left-turn and right-turn lanes on the road.

The total project cost is approximately $6 million. Slightly less than 80 percent of this cost is being paid for with federal funds. Commerce Township is providing $1 million and RCOC is providing the remainder.

UPDATE: Beverly Hills, Mich. — Farmington Road immediately south of 14 Mile Road is expected to remain closed until at least Friday this week (June 12), while the contractor for the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) completes work on the road.

RCOC had hoped to be able to open the road today, but the contractor has not yet finished the work.

The road has been closed since early April so RCOC could reconstruct a large underground vault for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department that had to be moved to accommodate the roundabout constructed at the 14 Mile/Farmington intersection last year.