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Crews prepare to open I-696 Westbound in Macomb County

Posted: 6:25 PM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-05 14:47:36Z

(WXYZ) — UPDATE: MDOT says they expect to reopen the west bound lanes of I-696 by Saturday evening, along with all exit and entrance ramps.

On Sunday, crews are expected to open the Southbound Mound ramp to Westbound I-696.

The Northbound ramp to Westbound I-696 and the Hoover ramp to Eastbound I-696 are both expected to open next week.

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It is the news more than one hundred thousand drivers who travel this way every day have been waiting for. Right now crews are putting the finishing touches on the westbound lanes of the I-696 fix.

“It should be open by January 7th, this coming Monday.,” said Alan Ostrowski, MDOT Construction Engineer.

To make that happen crews are painting the lane markers and removing barrels. In total they rebuilt 65 lane miles and 26 ramps in about 8 months. MDOT says its inspectors were on site for every step of the project .

“Everything we did was by the book,” said Ostrowski. “ We met all the specifications. We had inspectors out here every step of the way. It will be a long lasting pavement.”

However because of that three week labor lockout we saw in the fall, some work will have to be done in the spring. Medians need to be replaced and a process that smooths out the pavement still needs to be done in places.

“We weren’t able to do that because of temperatures, so the westbound may be a different feel when you ride on it right now,” said Ostrowski.

The attorney general is handling a case that will decide how contractors are held accountable for the work stoppage, since it impacted all construction in the state.