Michigan Construction…Changing the Way We Drive!

Local 4 Traffic Blog by: Lauren Podell


So here’s the deal, in the past two days I have received several e-mails from the MDOT Office of Communications alerting me of several (to say the least) new construction projects getting ready to start in the next week. 

Count ’em, FIVE freeways are going under the construction knife, some starting as early as this Friday.  Construction season has officially begun when five BIG projects start in less than a week. So I wanted to take the time to let you know what’s happening out there. Because if you drive in Metro Detroit, you are bound to get stuck in delays from one of these projects. 


M-39 (Southfield Freeway) resurfacing in Detroit  

Preliminary work on a $3 million project to resurface 6 miles of M-39 (Southfield Freeway) will begin Friday, April 9, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The resurfacing will take place between M-153 (Ford Road) and McNichols Road in Detroit. 

Contract documents restrict work to overnight on weekdays and all times on weekends. Overnight lane restrictions begin at 9 p.m. and will be removed by 5 a.m. the following mornings. Weekend work runs continuously from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. 

In addition to the resurfacing work, crews will patch sections of concrete pavement that carry M-39 under I-96. Weather permitting, crews will close two lanes on northbound M-39 under I-96 for patching beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, April 9 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 12. In order to allow for proper cure time, patching work will take place on weekends in April and May. 

All work is expected to be completed in early June. This project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 


I-94/I-696 interchange rehabilitation 

Road and bridge rehabilitation begins on Saturday, April 10, when contracting crews begin a large-scale project at the I-696/I-94 interchange in Macomb County. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), this $31 million investment includes: 

            – Reconstructing both directions of I-696 between Neiman Road and I-94; 

            – Reconstructing ramps and rehabilitating bridges within the interchange; and 

            – Resurfacing both directions of I-94 between M-102 (8 Mile Road) and I-696. 

During construction, two-lane ramps will be constructed maintaining one lane. The one exception is the ramp from eastbound I-696 to eastbound I-94, which will close in late June for bridge deck replacement. The ramp is expected to open in early November. During the ramp closure, motorists looking to head east will exit at M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) to Metro Parkway in order to access eastbound I-94. 

The reconstruction of I-696 near the interchange will be constructed maintaining two lanes in each direction during peak travel periods. 

The I-94 resurfacing will begin after July 4 and be completed in mid-October. Lane closures during the resurfacing work will be restricted to weekday nights and all times on weekends. 

In 2011, crews will focus on replacing the 11 Mile Road bridge over I-94. This bridge is located within the interchange and will remain open in 2010 as a way for local traffic to access nearby neighborhoods. 


Pavement repairs on M-8 (Davison Avenue) in Detroit  

Crews will begin repairs to approximately 2 miles of M-8 (Davison Avenue) on Monday, April 12. The project limits, between Woodrow Wilson and Tuller streets, are located between the M-10 (Lodge Freeway) and I-96 interchanges in Detroit. 

All work will be completed via lane closures. The section between Woodrow Wilson Street and Livernois Avenue will be resurfaced, while concrete pavement patching will improve the riding surface between Livernois Avenue and Tuller Street. 

Included in this project are curb repairs to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, and constructing median islands with crosswalks and pedestrian signals to improve safety. This $1.85 million project is expected to be completed by the end of September.   



M-59 pavement repair begins in Macomb County  

Concrete pavement repair will begin the week of April 12 on a 6.8 mile section of M-59 in Macomb County, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The work will be separated into four phases to maintain mobility on this heavily traveled commercial corridor. 

The project limits are between I-94 and Van Dyke Road in Clinton, Macomb and Shelby townships, and in Sterling Heights and Utica. The four phases are as follows: 

–         Phase 1 between I-94 and Elizabeth Street; 

–         Phase 2 between Romeo Plank and Garfield roads; 

–         Phase 3 between Garfield Road and Schoenherr Highway; and 

–         Phase 4 between Schoenherr Highway and Van Dyke Road. 

During construction, phases 1 and 4 will be done simultaneously. Phases 2 and 3 will be done afterward. Motorists should expect lane closures with a minimum of two lanes open in each direction during active work hours. 

Weekday lane closures are scheduled to occur nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. To minimize the impact on local businesses, weekend lane closures will occur continuously from 9 p.m. Saturdays to 3 p.m. Mondays.  This $1.6 million project is expected to be completed in August.   


I-94/I-275 interchange project begins in Romulus  

Ramp reconstruction and repair to three bridges begins Monday, April 12, at the I-94/I-275 interchange in Wayne County. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the first ramp to be closed will be eastbound I-94 to southbound I-275. During this ramp closure, motorists who want to use southbound I-275 will be directed to continue east on I-94 to Vining Road, and enter westbound I-94 to access southbound I-275. The ramp is expected to open in late May. 

The ramp closure is part of a $12.8 million investment to upgrade this heavily used interchange. Included in this project is the resurfacing of more than 2 miles on northbound and southbound I-275 between Northline and Hannan roads. The resurfacing work is expected to start later this summer.  

Also, the northbound I-275 ramp to westbound I-94 is expected to close the week of April 12 for a period of five days in order for crews to construct a temporary crossover for a future traffic shift. During this ramp closure, all traffic will be diverted to the Vining Road detour. 

The week beginning Monday, April 19, crews will close the northbound I-275 ramp to eastbound I-94 for reconstruction. Detoured traffic will head west on I-94 to Haggerty Road to access eastbound I-94. This ramp is expected to open in early June. 

The dates for the ramp closures are subject to change based on weather or any unforeseen circumstances. All ramps, bridges and lanes at the interchange are expected to be open by late November.


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