Like other drivers across Metro Detroit, Gail Elliott wants to know how construction might affect her daily commute.

So when the Ypsilanti Township resident recently heard the Michigan Department of Transportation plans to perform bridge and road work next year on the stretch of Interstate 275 that she regularly drives, Elliott hoped to learn specifics to plan ahead.

“I’m definitely affected by it,” she said. “It’s a matter of finding another route, or adjusting my work hours.”

Elliott was among the motorists who attended a public meeting that MDOT hosted Tuesday to discuss its planned $50 million repair project. Plans include fixing about six miles of I-275 between Ford Road and Six Mile in Livonia as well as in Canton, Plymouth and Northville townships. 

Construction is slated to start by early spring and end in November 2020, coordinators said.

Throughout the open house-style event Tuesday at Canton Township’s Summit on the Park, staff and project consultants displayed boards showing details of the work needed to upgrade an artery built in the 1970s. The stretch sees an estimated 120,000 to 130,000 daily drivers.

“Every year we’re out there doing significant patching on this stretch, which is why we’ve elected to do a more robust fix than just annual patching,” said Adam Penzenstadler, a project manager with MDOT.

Over one construction season, crews will be “resurfacing the road, widening the shoulders by a small amount, and doing minor drainage improvements along the corridor,” said Bill Zipp, a project manager with DLZ, a firm involved in the effort.

Throughout the project, two lanes will be open in each direction, said Matt Hickman, traffic operations engineer with MDOT. Traffic will be shifted across the median south of M-14. 

Meanwhile, the Ford and Ann Arbor road ramps will not be closed at the same time, MDOT said.

The M-14/I-275/I-96 interchange will have intermittent ramp closures for paving, while the southbound I-275 ramp to eastbound I-96 and the westbound I-96 ramp to northbound I-275 is expected to remain open, MDOT said in a statement.

Nearly 20 bridges on the route also are slated to undergo some type of rehabilitation, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for MDOT.

The southbound Metro Trail is expected to be closed between Five Mile and Schoolcraft

Road during work on the Schoolcraft Road bridge over M-14. 

More public meetings are planned as the construction start date approaches, Cross said.

That helps motorists such as Matthew Fiems, a Canton Township resident who attended Tuesday’s event. He was concerned about the duration.

“I drive this every day, so the faster it’s done, the better,” he said, adding he welcomes measures to improve the road’s condition. “It’s definitely needed.”

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