Warren — Rat abatement related to the Interstate 696 construction effort in Warren will cost some $125,000, said Mayor Jim Fouts Wednesday in a statement.

Fouts' statement says a rat contractor has been hired to place 128 bait boxes on the eastbound and westbound freeway. They're checked every two weeks, and those checks cost the city $30 each time. 

"If we didn't have this baiting program, the rats would be in our neighborhoods," Fouts says, adding that Warren is most affected by the I-696 work, as the freeway runs through the city for six miles. 

The program started in April and will continue until construction ends. The freeway is expected to reopen to traffic in both directions on Jan. 7, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Warren had actually budgeted some $275,000 for the rat bait in 2017-18, Fouts said. 

Fouts could not immediately be reached for comment.

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