(WXYZ) — Construction on phase two of the I-75 modernization project will continue until at least late December, MDOT announced Wednesday morning.
According to MDOT, the delay is due to weather delays and additional work added to the contract.
That means that switching northbound I-75 traffic back over to the northbound lanes and its pre-construction configuration will be delayed until late December.
Right now, both directions of I-75 are on the southbound side of the freeway, with two lanes going each way. It's been that way since the spring between 13 Mile and Coolidge.
Originally, the traffic switch was expected to occur by Thanksgiving.
According to the department, the delay is due mostly to lost production from a wet spring, heavy rain in the summer, record snowfall in November and extreme temperatures. MDOT said they have lost about 60 days of production since March 1.
"This delay is not due to lack of effort," said Sue Datta, MDOT senior project manager for segment 2 of the I-75 modernization project. "On average, between contractors, laborers and MDOT personnel, we had close to 200 people working on this job daily in various areas over the 9-mile work zone. No other project compares in complexity and scope to this complete infrastructure replacement."
MDOT said that the process of moving northbound traffic to the northbound lanes will be completed in stages starting later this month.
During the winter, MDOT said crews will work on a sound wall near Wattles Rd. on northbound I-75 that wasn't in the original plan. That will result in a single-lane closure on northbound I-75 from Big Beaver to Wattles during the winter months.
Crews will also prep for work on the reconstruction of the southbound lanes in 2020. That means next year, all traffic will switch over to the newly-constructed northbound lanes.