Posts Tagged ‘heather zara’

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.


5/26/09 Construction update

May 26, 2009
heather zara headshot Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Back to work and back to road work. The holiday is officially over and so are the limits on the number of orange barrels scattered across the metropolitan area. Here are MDOT’s plans for the week ahead. Each project is broken down by roadway.


 M-10 (Lodge Freeway):

At the Detroit/Southfield border, overnight closures of northbound and southbound M-10 at 8 Mile Road for ongoing bridge repair. Posted detours utilize the M-10 service drives in each direction.

  • Southbound M-10 will be closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, beginning at 9 p.m. and ending by 5 a.m. the following mornings.
  • Northbound M-10 will be closed Tuesday and Thursday nights, beginning at 9 p.m. and ending by 5 a.m. the following mornings.

In Oakland County, there will be a single lane closed on southbound M-10 at the bridge that carries eastbound I-696 over M-10 for bridge painting. This work is part of the ongoing I-696 bridge rehab in Oakland County.

  • The single lane closure begins at 9 p.m. and ends by 5 a.m. the following mornings, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.


In Wayne County, an additional lane will be closed on northbound I-275 from 5 Mile to 6 Mile Roads. The work is associated with the current project to extend the current left lane from 5 Mile Road to 6 Mile. The additional lane closures are scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. on both Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29.

In Wayne County, a single lane closure on southbound I-275 at Koppernick (north of Ford Road) on beginning Tuesday and ending Friday. The single lane closure will be in effect beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. each day.


In Oakland County, the eastbound I-696 exit to Coolidge Road will be closed starting this morning and ending on June 3. A detour will be posted for ramp traffic. The closure is needed for ongoing bridge repair along the corridor.

In Oakland County, westbound I-696 will be reduced to two lanes at Bermuda St. for bridge painting on the RR structure located just west of Bermuda. The lane restrictions begin at 9 p.m. and end by 5 a.m. the following mornings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. In conjunction, the Bermuda entrance ramp to westbound I-696 will be closed at the same time as the freeway lanes.

In Oakland County, westbound I-696 will be reduced to two lanes from US-24 (Telegraph Road) to M-5 for ongoing pavement and bridge rehab. The lane restrictions begin at 10 p.m. and end by 5 a.m. the following morning on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

M-1 (Woodward Ave):

In Oakland County, a permit has been approved to allow for filming on M-1 between 12 Mile and 16 Mile roads. There will be stoppages in traffic (assistance from Oak County Sheriff) for approximately five minute intervals. The filming will take place Wed and Thurs, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day.

M-53 (Van Dyke Freeway):

In Macomb County, the northbound M-53 exit ramp to east and westbound 26 Mile Road will be closed for construction. The closure of the ramp begins at 5 a.m. on Thursday and is expected to be open by the end of June. A detour will be posted.

*As always, all projects are weather permitting.

See you on Local 4 News Morning, weekdays from 5-7am… and catch us on the web at Twitter @HeatherZara and @Local4News.

The worst drivers in America: You won’t find them in Michigan

May 22, 2009

heather zara headshotLocal 4 Blog by Heather Zara

You may be thinking or even saying  it several times a day when you’re driving on our Michigan roadways; “Nobody around here knows how to drive!!!”  Well, imagine what they’re muttering as they’re driving around in New York, because the worst drivers in America live there, and now there is proof of that.


GMAC Insurance conducted a test to measure just how much drivers actually know about safe driving.  Want to know the results? You might want to sit down for this. It turns out that 20.1 percent of licensed drivers in America wouldn’t pass a written drivers exam if they took one today.  That’s about 41 million drivers across the US.

Michigan ranks 22nd in case you were wondering.

By the way…who says “old people” can’t drive? The results from GMAC’s National Drivers Test for 2009 showed, the older the driver, the higher the test score.

  • Drivers over 35 were more likely to pass than those under 35
  • Men over 45 had the highest scores
  • The age group with the highest failure rates: young adults 18-24 years old

Want to test out your driving skills? Take the test at 

Good luck and if you fail… let me know, so I can warn everyone of your route. Just kidding!  😉  Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

2 full freeway closures are scheduled for this weekend

May 7, 2009

heather-zara-headshot2Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

For the most part, we’ve been pretty lucky lately when it comes to construction on the weekends. Our luck is about to change my friends. There are two full freeway closures scheduled for this weekend.  As always, projects are weather permitting. 

*NOTE: The closures may reopen Sunday afternoon for Mother’s Day and the Red Wings’ home game*


Full closure on I-696 in both directions between US-24 Telegraph and M-5

  • 9pm Friday-5am Monday
  • Detours will be posted
  • EASTBOUND DETOUR: EB M-5 to EB M-102 (8 Mile) to NB US-24 to reconnect with EB I-696
  • WESTBOUND DETOUR: SB US-24 to WB M-102 (8 Mile) to WB M-5 to connect to WB I-96
  • Expect heavy delays this weekend


Full closure on M-10 Lodge at 8 Mile

  • 10pm Friday-1pm Sunday
  • Traffic will be routed off and back onto the freeway using the 8 Mile ramps
  • Should only delay your commute slightly, depending on traffic volumes

Have a great day and don’t forget to tune in to Local 4 News Morning starting at 5am. See you then!

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Mexican Town? Check out these directions first.

May 5, 2009


Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! It’s the perfect day for a celebration… The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and there isn’t any construction heading into Mexican Town- Okay… scratch that. There is construction. The Gateway Ambassador Bridge Project has had the direct route to Mexican Town blocked off since February of 2008 and it isn’t scheduled to reopen until December of this year.

Now don’t let the construction stop you from heading to Mexican Village for burritos and a margarita; there are detours posted everywhere. Use this useful map and set of directions, provided by MDOT, before you head out and you will be crunching on chips and salsa before you know it.

Have a great day, be safe and see you tomorrow starting at 5am on Local 4 News Morning. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The first weekend in May and yes, there is construction

May 1, 2009

heather-zara-headshotLocal 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Happy Friday! The weekend is finally here… but that means that it is time to roll out some extra orange barrels for weekend construction. It is that time of year after all. Let’s break down the scheduled road work by county to get you through it. The good news is that there aren’t any full freeway closures and I think that you will find that all of these projects are bearable. All scheduled construction is weather permitting.


I-696 between Dequindre and Van Dyke

  • Double lane closure in both directions
  • 8pm Friday-5am Monday
  • Alternate: 10 Mile or 12 Mile
  • Avoid the I-696 Service Drive. It will likely be just as congested

I-696 between Hayes and I-94

  • Double lane closure on the EASTBOUND side
  • Single lane closure on the WESTBOUND side
  • 8pm Friday-8pm Sunday
  • Alternate: Mile Roads work best
  • Avoid the I-696 Service Drive. It will likely be just as congested

M-53 between 19 Mile and 27 Mile

  • Reduced to a single lane in both directions
  • Southbound restrictions: 10am Friday-5am Monday
  • Northbound restrictions: 8pm Friday-5am Monday


Eastbound I-96 Jeffries

  • Double lane closures
  • 7am-7pm Saturday: from Brookfield to Berwick Streets (Just east of Farmington Road)
  • 7am-7pm Sunday: at Wayne Road

Westbound I-96 Jeffries in Detroit

  • Double lane closures
  • 7am-7pm both Saturday and Sunday
  • From Joy Road to US-24 Telegraph

Southbound I-275 at Koppernick (just north of Warren Avenue)

  • Double lane closure
  • 6am-6pm both Saturday and Sunday


Northbound I-75 between 9 Mile and 10 Mile

  • Double lane closure
  • 9pm Sunday-5am Monday

See… Not too bad, right? Have a great day and an amazing weekend.

I’ll see you on later editions of Local 4 News tonight. I’ll be reporting the Red Wings getting ready for game 1 against the Ducks. Round 2 is officially here. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Local4News and @HeatherZara.

AFFORDABLE vacations you can take, right here in Michigan

April 29, 2009

heather-zara-headshot9Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

There is no doubt about it. Everyone is watching their spending now more than ever. The state of the economy has people cutting down on the amount of cash they’re spending on just about everything; especially leisurely activities.

With summer quickly approaching, will you be skipping your yearly family trip or are you hoping to take break from the daily grind without breaking the bank? Well, we’ve decided to find some beautiful, fun-filled, and more importantly, affordable retreats that are right here in Michigan. 

Boosting our own economy while taking a break from worrying about the economy-talk about a 2-for-1 deal.

Here is where you get to sound off, Detroit. Leave me a comment at the bottom of the page, send me an email at, follow me on Twitter @Local4News, send me a facebook message on our Local 4 News Morning fan page… Whatever way you choose… I’m listening.

  • Are you looking to take an affordable trip this summer?
  • How long of a vacation are you able to take?
  • What kind of trips are of interest to you and your family? (Theme park, winery, camp grounds… etc.)
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Have you and your family taken any financially friendly trips in Michigan before?

I am looking forward to hearing back from you while I continue to crunch the numbers on affordable vacations in our great State of Michigan.

Stay tuned for when this exclusive story airs on Local 4 and

Weekend construction

April 24, 2009

heather-zara-headshot8Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

After dealing with all of the construction along I-96 and I-696 near I-275, I am sure you’re trying to erase the images of lane restrictions and orange barrels from your memory. So I’ll just apologize in advance for the list of weekend construction that is ahead. I’m sorry-

The following projects are scheduled for tonight, April 24th through Monday, April 27th-weather permitting:


In Detroit: Lane restrictions on I-94 at Van Dyke

  • Total freeway closure from 11pm Friday-7am Saturday (Traffic will be routed to the Service Drive)
  • I-94 reopens at 7am Saturday but expect one lane to remain blocked until 9pm
  • Starting at 9pm Saturday- 2 lanes will be blocked through 5am Monday

In Detroit, lanes restrictions along I-94 between Cadieux and Connor

  • 2 left lanes will close on the westbound side from 7am-7pm on Saturday
  • The right lane will be closed on the eastbound side from Connor to Cadieux from 7am to 7pm on Sunday

In Macomb County, EB I-94 exit to Gratiot

  • Gratiot ramp will be closed from 9am to 3pm today (Friday)


In Wayne County, I-96 at Middlebelt will have intermittent lane closures

  • Single and double lane closures from 6am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday

I-96 approaching the I-275/I-696/M-5 Interchange

  • Keep in mind existing construction will remain in place throughout the weekend-until early June
  • EB I-96 to EB I-696 ramps are closed until June 1st-use EB M-5 as alternate
  • I-696 is down 2 lanes in both directions between I-275 and Drake
  • Use Mile Roads, Grand River and M-5 around these projects to help get you out of a traffic jam


In Detroit, M-10 at Jefferson lane restriction

  • The northbound side of The Lodge at Jefferson will have a single lane closure from 7am-5pm.


In Macomb County, I-696 between Hayes and I-94

  • Only one lane will be open in BOTH directions starting tonight at 8pm until Monday at 5am
  • Use 10 or 12 Mile to avoid congestion

In Warren, I-696 between Dequindre and Van Dyke

  • Double lane closure 9pm tonight until 5am Monday
  • Again, utilize those Mile Roads as an alternate to avoid delays


I-275 at Koppernick (just north of Ford Road)

  • Double lane closure on Saturday from 6am-6pm


In Oakland County, M-53 at 26 Mile

  • M-53 will close in both directions at 26 Mile Road on Saturday from 5am to 7pm
  • Traffic will be routed to up and down the 26 Mile Road ramps


M-59 entrance ramp to M-53

  • Intermittent closures beginning Saturday and 9am and ending the same day at 5pm

Major delays are here until May

April 21, 2009

heather-zara-headshot7Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Good Morning. A warning to drivers that head East on I-96 towards the I-696/I-275/M-5 Interchange: Don’t hop on the freeway- unless you want to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an extra 20-30 minutes during rush hour.

There are lane shifts and a single lane closure on I-96 between Beck and M-5. That’s where the slow downs begin but the real backups are because of what’s happening on I-696, further east of I-96.

Construction Break Down

  • 2 lanes are blocked on I-696 between Drake and I-275 in both directions
  • EASTBOUND backups have been worse (commuters coming from the west drive to Southfield, Royal Oak, Warren and Detroit)
  • Expect to move at speeds around 10-15 MPH for an extended period of time and 20-30 minute delays to your travel time
  • This construction is expected to last until mid-May

Alternate Routes 

  • Use Grand River or the Mile Roads
  • If you are heading West on I-696 in an attempt to get to I-96: Try using Telegraph to 12 Mile, to M-5, back to I-96

Pack your patience, friends. This one is going to be rough. Follow us on Twitter @Local4News and @HeatherZara. See you tomorrow on Local 4 News Morning. Have a great day and leave extra early, I-96 Eastbounders!


Attention all commuters: Major slowdowns on I-275

April 16, 2009


Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Good Thursday morning to you. Just wanted to give a warning for drivers that frequent I-275.

There is construction on the northbound side of I-275 between M-14 and 6 Mile, blocking the left lane until June. Since this started on Monday, traffic has consistently been a problem.  Each and every morning, the delays begin around 7am and last throughout the morning rush hour.

I am looking at our 4LiveTraffic camera right now and I-275 at M-14 looks more like a parking lot than a freeway. Drivers are moving through stop and go traffic at around 10 MPH. Best advice that I can give you: Take Haggerty or Newburgh to head north instead of using I-275.

Have a great day and don’t forget to find me on Twitter for 4LiveTraffic updates online, @HeatherZara.