Archive for July, 2009

MDOT is Back in Business!

July 21, 2009

newsteamLast weeks tanker explosion stalled a lot of new construction that is set to begin as early as next week. Well MDOT is back to their regular schedule and released 5 major NEW construction projects that stretch from Flatrock to Detroit! Below is the complete list with start and end dates, lane restriction info, even the cost! I will have more on these new projects today and throughout the week on Local 4 News!




Monday July 27th:

  • Contracting crews will be closing the two right lanes of westbound M-14 over the Rouge River.
  • This phase of the project is expected to last until Sunday, Aug. 9.
  • The entire project is expected to be completed in mid-September.

DETAILS: The repairs to M-14 over the Rouge River, located just east of Sheldon Road, are necessary based on a recent inspection. During the inspection, engineers discovered some safety concerns with structural components that need to be addressed. The lane closures will allow crews to conduct the necessary work on the structure’s abutment wall, which helps support the bridge beams.


1st week of August:

  • Resurfacing of northbound and southbound US-24 (Telegraph Road) in the city of Flat Rock between Vreeland Road and the south Wayne County line.
  • Northbound and southbound US-24 will be reduced to a single lane.
  • The work is limited to weekends only in an effort to minimize the impact to weekday traffic.
  • Lane restrictions may begin at 9 p.m. on Fridays and will end by 5 a.m. on Mondays.
  • All work is scheduled to be completed prior to Labor Day weekend


Monday July 27th:

  • Widening of M-59, between Crooks and Ryan roads.
  • The two-lane section will be widened to three lanes in each direction.
  • The median will be replaced by a barrier wall separating eastbound and westbound traffic.
  • A majority of the work to widen M-59 will take place during 2010.
  • Expected to be completed in November 2010

DETAILS: Crews will begin preliminary work to widen shoulders and construct freeway crossovers to accommodate a future traffic shift. Culvert work west of John R. Road also is expected to take place this fall.  In addition to the widening work, crews will make repairs to six bridges within the work zone limits. Bridge repairs will take place on Auburn, Rochester, John R., Dequindre and Ryan roads, and Livernois Avenue. During the project, two lanes will be maintained during peak travel periods on weekdays, with the possibility of one lane open on weeknights and all times on weekends. This $50 million investment is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


Monday July 27th:

  • Extensive bridge repair on I-96 in Detroit
  • Ten bridges will get new driving surfaces between Davison and Livernois avenues.
  • Two lanes will remain open on eastbound and westbound I-96 during peak travel periods.
  • During the overnight hours on weekdays, and all times on weekends, up to three lanes may be closed.
  • Full closures are permitted when crews will be demolishing overpasses.

DETAILS: The overpasses receiving new decks include westbound Davison Avenue to eastbound I-96 (two bridges), Fullerton and Elmhurst roads, Grand River Avenue (two bridges), Livernois Avenue (two bridges) and Oakman Boulevard (two bridges). Bridge work will be staged to provide motorists with mobility. The work will continue through the winter months, with a completion date of November 2010. This $16 million investment is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


Monday August 3rd:

  • Resurface the I-75 Business Loop (Square Lake Road) in Oakland County
  • Repair and resurface Square Lake Road between US-24 (Telegraph Road) and M-1 (Woodward Avenue)
  • Road crews will restrict Square Lake Road to two lanes in each direction until the project is completed in late November.

DETAILS: This is a $5 million investment. Included in this resurfacing project are median, fencing and signal upgrades. In order to accommodate the work,  During construction, there will be left turn restrictions at certain locations. Not all left turns will be prohibited. There will be no work near M-1 during the Woodward Dream Cruise on the weekend of August 15. This project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).     




Freeway Inferno RE-CAP!

July 21, 2009


This is a truly a construction breakthrough! I’ve never seen anything like it. I know it amazed me as much as you that both directions of I-75 are open at 9 Mile Rd. LESS then a week after that inferno engulfed the freeway.  I worked 15 hours days Thursday and Friday, expecting to stay on coverage for AWHILE…but MDOT made sure they got to work!


Yesterday MDOT opened the Northbound lanes of the freeway in the early afternoon, Southbound opened over the weekend! Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Rob Morosi had said earlier in the day that a “black oily substance” was delaying the the reopening of the northbound lanes, and that crews were waiting on test.

  • Slideshow: I-75 Cleanup, Reopening
  • Video: Southbound I-75 Lanes Reopen After Crash
  • TANKER 2


    Flames erupted as 13,000 gallons of fuel spilled onto the freeway. The Nine Mile overpass collapsed as a result of the crash and explosion. The drivers were able to walk away from the crash without any serious injuries. A Macomb County demolition crew has been working around the clock to remove debris and resurface lanes. Although it was only the northbound side of the overpass that collapsed, the southbound portion was also torn down.

    “That steel was too hot under there, and we decided we were not going to take a chance,” Morosi said. “When you figure that that fire raged how many hours at the temperature it did, obviously there was a compromise in the structural damage.”

    RAW VIDEO: Tanker Explosion
    Images: iShotNews Viewer’s Images
    Video: iShotNews Viewer Videos

    I-75 INFERNO 4

    Morosi said core samples of the pavement affected by the crash were taken, and experts proved that the affected section of the roadway didn’t need to be rebuilt, but resurfaced.

    “What we have to do on the northbound side is go down about two-and-a-half to three inches, mill off that pavement, remove the surface and put down a brand-new surface,” Morosi said. “We’re looking at approximately 500 feet total.”

    Morosi said only about 100 feet of pavement needed to be resurfaced on the southbound side. Morosi said that he estimates that the repaving will cost about $90,000, while the demolition of the bridge and cleanup will cost about $78,000. Rebuilding the Nine Mile Road overpass could take up to four months and could cost the state up to $2 million.

    “We never replaced this bridge in 2007. We did extensive rehabilitation — this is a bridge replacement, so there will have to be design aspects incorporated into it, so it all takes time,” said Morosi.

    Watch: RAW VIDEO: Tanker Explosion
    Images: Tanker Explosion

    Welcome, Detroit Travelers!

    July 14, 2009

    newsteamThis will only make Detroit travel better! The new Rosa Parks Transit Center opens THIS MORNING at 10am on the dot!  I will be going out there to see the 1st few people stroll in. This center is extremely modern and state of the art! It’s is an open, airy space designed to provide a comfortable and protective waiting area for commuters under tall, white canopies that brings a very unique look to the city.

    Photo by: REGINA H. BOONE/Detroit Free Press

    transit 2

    The $22.5-million center is at the corner of Michigan and Cass. Here’s what you’ll find, 15 bus bays for 21 Detroit Department of Transportation bus routes, as well as space for connections with the suburban SMART system, Transit Windsor buses and a taxi stand. The facility, which sits between the People Mover and Times Square stations, is to open at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

    Photo by: REGINA H. BOONE/Detroit Free Press

    transit 3

     Inside, two levels open to the public offer restrooms, a cashier station for bus fares, and information and security booths. The facility’s exterior is mostly aluminum-framed windows. Stairway handrails are stainless steel and ceiling tiles aluminum. Users will find seating inside as well as four commercial spaces the city said will house retail outlets, possibly restaurants, cafés, coffee shops or newsstands.

    Photo by: REGINA H. BOONE/Detroit Free Press

    transit 1

    Outside, the glass-coated fiber canopies, riders may sit on benches and check electronic signs announcing arrival times for buses based on real-time GPS coordinates. The transit center’s architect, Tushar Advani of Parsons Brinckerhoff, said he took inspiration from the image of an airplane wing in the clouds when designing the sharply angled building and the adjacent covered area.

    “There aren’t a lot of facilities like this, particularly for buses,” Advani said during a news media tour of the center Thursday. “We didn’t want to create another fortress in Detroit.” The aim, he said, was an iconic place that provides “a comfortable, respectful and safe environment” for transit users.



    Weekend Construction: 7/10-7/13

    July 9, 2009

    Local 4 Traffic Blog by: Lauren Podell newsteam

    We had one weekend off… but its BACK! Weekend construction is out in full force, with one total freeway closure on the way. The following construction activities are planned for this upcoming weekend. As always, some work maybe postponed due to rain.


    Also, here is an additional construction update…more of the Gateway Project is opening! MDOT has good news for motorists who cross the Ambassador Bridge from Canada to the United States. Later today, MDOT plans to open a new ramp that will move automobiles entering the United States from the bridge plaza directly onto I-75. While there will eventually be ramps to accommodate those traveling from the United States to Canada, the ramp that will open today is for automobiles leaving Canada to enter the United States only.


    US-12 (Michigan Avenue)

    In Wayne County:

    Eastbound and westbound US-12 (Michigan Ave) will have only one lane open over the Rouge River Bridge in Dearborn for ongoing bridge replacement work. In conjunction, the eastbound US-12 entrance ramp to southbound M-39 (Southfield Freeway) and the eastbound US-12 exit to northbound Evergreen Road are closed and detoured.

    M-3 (Gratiot Avenue)

    In Macomb County:

    Northbound Gratiot between Masonic and 14 Mile will have intermittent lane closures on Saturday from 6am to 6pm. Southbound Gratiot between 14 Mile and 11 Mile will have intermittent lane closures during the same time frame.


    In Macomb County:

    Westbound and Eastbound I-696 from I-94 to Gratiot will have a total closure beginning Friday at 10pm until Monday at 5am. In conjunction, the I-94 ramps to Westbound I-696 will be closed. Traffic can use 8 Mile as an alternative to access Westbound I-696. Eastbound I-696 traffic can take Gratiot south to 8 Mile.

    In Oakland County:

    Westbound I-696 from I-75 to M-10 will have a double lane closure beginning Friday at 10pm to Monday at 5am. Also, the Westbound I-696 connector ramp to Westbound I-96 will have only one lane open.

    Eastbound I-696 at Woodward has a continuous left lane closure that began on Wednesday night and will continue through Monday at 5am.


    In Oakland County:

    Northbound M-5 ramp to Westbound I-96 will be closed beginning Friday at 10pm until Monday at 5am.

    Westbound and Eastbound M-5 ramps to Eastbound I-696 will be closed beginning Friday at 9pm until Monday at 5am.


    In Oakland County:

    Westbound I-96 from I-275 to Novi will have a double lane closure beginning Friday at 10pm to Monday at 5am. Eastbound I-96 from Novi to I-275 will have just a single lane closure.


    In Oakland County:

     Northbound I-275 ramp to Eastbound I-696 will be closed beginning Friday at 9pm until Monday at 5am. Also, the Northbound I-275 ramp to Westbound I-96 will be reduced to a single lane during the same time frame.


    In Oakland County:

    Westbound and Eastbound M-59 at Ryan will have 15 minute intermittent closures to allow utility crews to place new power lines across the freeway between the hours of 6am to 10am on Saturday.



    Wasting TIME, $$$, & FUEL Sitting in Traffic! Surprised?

    July 8, 2009

    newsteamMy commute from Shelby Township to Detroit is a long one. I know a person who commutes from St. Clair Shores to Ann Arbor EVERYDAY… that puts 120+ miles on their car a day to and from work!! A lot of us here in Michigan are used to driving long distances to get where we need to go whether its to work, the UP, our up north cottage etc. So this news study…should come to no surprise to most.


    The Texas Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report says peak-time travelers in the Detroit area lose an average of 52 hours a year and waste 34 gallons of fuel because of traffic congestion and transit delays ((THAT’S CRAZY))! Imagine what we could do with 52 extra hours a year! I know I’m always saying there’s never enough time in the day. And what about the money we could save on 34 gallons of wasted fuel? But it’s the price we pay…literally.

    Combined, the transportation institute estimates the average peak-time metro Detroit traveler loses $1,090 a year!!!

    jam upsBut there is a light at the end of the tunnel…traffic congestion across Michigan is actually DECLINING! This data is based on yet another study that says due to the economic down turn & rising gas prices, we’ve seen a drop in traffic in rush hour traffic for the 2nd straight year! ((I’ve noticed…have you!?))

    The average U.S. driver spent 36.1 hours in traffic in the year 2007… compared to 36.6 hours in 2006.

    So where does Detroit rank when it comes to traffic congestion!? Well…we’re STILL in the top 10, but at the bottom of the list at least! We rank 9th overall in the nation…Los Angeles was #1!

    The report is based on data from 2007, when gas prices were just beginning to rise dramatically. With gas prices topping $4 a gallon and the economy tanking in 2008, the congestion numbers are likely to improve, but not for the long run.


    I will have more on this tonight coming up on Local 4 News at 5:30 pm! Stay tuned!