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MDOT employees explain the I-696 resurfacing project near the crusher and grader machines in Warren. Todd McInturf, The Detroit News

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Westbound Interstate 696 between Dequindre and US-24 will be closed June 1 for repairs, Michigan Department of Transportation officials said.

The announcement comes a week after the agency said it would close the portion of I-696 but had to reschedule the work because of weather.

Crews are scheduled to close the stretch of freeway and all of its entrance ramps at 9 p.m. June 1 and it will reopen at 5 a.m. June 4, according to MDOT.

The suggest detour from I-75 is westbound Eight Mile to northbound M-10 to westbound I-696 or U.S. 24.

Diane Cross, spokeswoman for MDOT, said crews are primarily doing pavement and joint repairs in isolated spots on I-696 westbound in Oakland County as opposed to the section in Macomb County between I-94 to I-75​​​​​ where they are replacing all of the concrete. 

The repairs along westbound I-696 in Oakland County will continue through the summer, and motorists can expect weekend closures along the freeway, Cross said. MDOT will consider major events in Metro Detroit when planning the closures, she said. 

Meanwhile, eastbound I-696 will remain open in both Macomb and Oakland counties.

But as westbound I-696 is completed in Macomb County, crews will cut a path through the median and reroute eastbound traffic to westbound lanes. Entrance ramps to the highway will remain closed and there will be at least three exits open.

Cross acknowledged that the traffic changes could be a challenge for motorists. 

“Anybody who has driven 696 knows how bad a shape it was in," Cross said. "For safety, we either close the road to fix it or we’d have to close the road (permanently) because it wouldn’t be safe to drive." 

Previously, I-696 in Oakland County had only lane and shoulder closures overnight to enable crews to cut pavement and perform drainage work.

The repair work is part of MDOT's "Restore the Reuther" project, which began at the end of April.

Under the $90 million project, crews are overhauling the westbound lanes of the heavily-used freeway between I-94 in Macomb County and I-75 in Oakland County. An estimated 150,000 vehicles travel the stretch of I-696 daily.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

 

 

 

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