OAKLAND COUNTY (WXYZ) — A massive 3-year construction project to create a flex route along I-96 between Kent Lake Rd. and I-275/I-696/M-5 kicks off Monday.
Last week, crews began closing shoulders to prep for the beginning of the project this Monday, with the first stage of the road project officially kicking off.
Oakland County is building a flex lane to speed up traffic.
Flex lanes are temporary shoulder lanes that are used when traffic flow is heavy.
For example, during:
- Peak driving times and travel periods
- Maintenance work
- Special events
- Incidents and crashes
MDOT says these flex lanes have already been proven successful. They claim the lanes have reduced drive times during rush hour by 5 to 7 minutes.
Currently, US-23 between M-14 near Ann Arbor to the south of M-36 in Green Oak Township is operating under a flex lane system.
On I-275/I-696, there will also be electronic signs showing when the flex lane is closed and opened.
During the first phase of the project, the governor's office says eastbound and westbound I-96 traffic will be shifted onto the westbound lanes between Kent Lake Road and Wixom Road; Two lanes will reportedly be open in each direction to accommodate the rebuilding of the eastbound lanes.
There will also be median drainage work. During that time, I-96 will have three eastbound lanes and two westbound lanes between Wixom Rd. and the I-275/I-696/M-5 interchange with ramp closures: NB and SB Kent Lake Road ramps to EB I-96, NB and SB Milford Road ramps to EB I-96, EB I-96 exit ramps to Milford and Wixom roads, and the Milford and Wixom road ramps to WB I-96.
The first stage is expected to be completed by late fall 2022. Updates are expected to be available at DrivingOakland.com.