Michigan motorists are bracing for a full closure of a portion of I-96 in 2014. Work will soon begin on the stretch of interstate that runs from Telegraph Road in Redford Township to Newburgh in Livonia. The project is expected to take 10 months to complete, and was more attractive than the alternative, which called for one lane being open in each direction for three years.
The Michigan DOT will close the 7-mile stretch of the Jeffries Freeway at the end of January, and will pay $170 million to build a new road and ramps, repair or replace 37 bridges and add new overhead lighting. Detours will take drivers onto I-94, I-696 and I-275.
MDOT held a number of public forums on the I-96 project, and surveyed the motoring public on what would be the better construction option. Getting it done in 10 months, even though it would shut the whole corridor down, was the preferred choice.
The 7-mile stretch opened in 1973, and has reached the end of its service life. MDOT officials said workers have been doing repairs for years just to keep the road functional.
“We want to get to this before it gets to be a safety hazard,” said Adam Penzenstadler, projects and contracts administration engineer for MDOT.