Since February 2017, traveling southbound on a 13 mile stretch of I-75 near the Rouge River bridge has been exclusively for construction crews. This weekend, everyone will be allowed to use some on-ramps for the first time in two years.
"I think people will be relieved," said Bill Erben, project manager for the I-75 Rouge-Detroit-Downriver Connection Project.
"They’ve been patient," Erben said. "They put up with our mess, so we thought as soon as we had a section that was ready to return to traffic, we’d give it to traffic."
Those driving south near I-75 this weekend will notice some of those dreaded detours finally disappear.
"They’ll notice the ramps are open. All of the ramps from Outer Drive to the south, they’ll be able to get on and go southbound on I-75 and there will be relief on the local road system," Erben said.
Ramps from Outer Drive, Southfield, Dix Highway, Northline, Eureka and the Telegraph connector could open for traffic to enter and drive on I-75 south as early as Friday, weather permitting.
The southbound lanes from I-96 over the Rouge bridge to Outer Drive will remain closed as construction continues into the fall. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has implemented new safety measures along that stretch, and they are asking drivers to slow down in construction zones.
"The workers are shaken up cause there's been a few accidents, so we’re doing everything we can for workers and public safety," said Senior Inspector Mike Cagle.
MDOT lowered the northbound speed limit to 50 miles per hour, added rumble strips and increased police presence in an effort to reduce construction zone dangers.
So as ramps and roadways reopen, everyone can enjoy a smoother, safer drive.
The exact day and time the ramps will reopen depends on the weather. We will have all your updates here on wxyz.com.
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Editor's note: Our series "Getting Around Metro Detroit" explores the problems and solutions to transportation issues throughout our area.