The department will host a public meeting this week to share the plans for the flex route with residents, local businesses, local officials, project consultants, and interested stakeholders.
MDOT says the agency has studied this heavily traveled route, which experiences high traffic volumes and numerous crashes, and determined the need to improve I-96 to accommodate the larger volume going eastbound in the morning and westbound during the afternoon.
A variety of options were considered before deciding on this I-96 Flex Route project, which will use the existing shoulders for additional capacity. The idea behind the flex route would be to use the median shoulders part-time during periods of heavy congestion, typically during morning and evening commutes. Ramp metering would also be implemented at select locations along the route to control ramp traffic entering the freeway for smoother merging.
The shoulder usage will be similar to the U.S. 23 Flex Route north of Ann Arbor, with this project introducing ramp metering at a few locations to control traffic flow. The U.S. 23 Flex Route was rolled out on U.S. 23 between M-14 and M-36, opening in late 2017.
This future project on I-96 is expected to reduce the number of crashes and improve travel time reliability between U.S. 23 and I-275. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.
SOURCE: Michigan DOT