(WXYZ) — With less than a week until the expected re-opening of both eastbound and westbound I-696 in Macomb County, Michigan Department of Transportation crews will begin preparations for the opening on Wednesday.
According to MDOT, they will work to restore normal traffic operations on the highway beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The work will help fully reopen the highway, which has been closed since early 2018.
MDOT says work on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will include:
- Only two lanes of EB I-696 will be open
- NB and SB I-75 ramps to EB I-696 will be closed
- EB I-696 exits to Dequindre Rd., Mound Rd. and M-97/Groesbeck Highway will intermittently close
After the work wraps up at 3 p.m., MDOT says all EB I-696 traffic will be back on the eastbound lanes, and all exits between I-75 and I-94 will be open.
On top of that, entrance ramps will begin opening from west to east, and crews will begin removing temporary traffic control devices to open the third and fourth lanes of EB I-696. The 11 Mile Rd. ramp and NB/SB Mound Rd. ramps to EB I-696 will remain closed for a few days.
With the opening expected on Jan. 7, crews will begin working on Thursday through Monday to prepare WB I-696 to return to normal operations.
They'll begin replacing pavement markings, removing temporary traffic control devices, and also begin double lane closures on EB and WB I-94 at different points while the highway is reopened.
MDOT is reminding drivers that not all work is complete, but they have to execute this switch before any major winter weather moves in.
In the spring, they will continue work on the highway. That includes completing the eastbound median shoulders, median barrier wall repairs, pavement grinding for ride quality, final turf/slop restoration and permanent pavement markings. That work will be done under intermittent lane closures, and no long-term freeway closures are expected.