I-96, which has been closed since last Spring, will reopen in time for rush hour traffic on Monday.
Over 10,000 people took the opportunity to play on the newly constructed freeway on Sunday September 21, 2014.
Many either walked or they brought their bikes, unicycle’s, strollers, skateboards to see what the newly constructed I-96 Expressway was all about. More photos are available to see on their Facebook Page.
The reconstruction project that closed the 7 mile section of I-96 in April is opening a month ahead of schedule. This is exciting news from business owners and residents along that stretch of freeway.
Business owners were hit hard with the freeway closure. Some saw business drop off over 50% in some cases.
On March 1, 2012, MDOT held a public meeting to discuss several alternatives on how to build this project. Options included closing the freeway or keeping it open during construction with lane restrictions. The information session was followed by in-person and online voting. In the end, more than 1,780 votes were cast with roughly 60 percent voting to close the freeway to get the work done in one calendar year which is exactly what was done.
Known as the 96fix it included rebuilding 56 lane miles, repairing 37 bridges, reconstructing 26 ramps, as well as new lighting and utilities. The cost of construction was $148 million.
The project was a complete rebuild of I-96 between Newburgh and Telegraph roads, which was originally constructed in 1971. Over the years, a mix of long-term repairs (2003) and short-term projects had extended the life of the pavement and bridges. However, after 40 years, that section of I-96 was beyond maintenance work and needed be rebuilt. MDOT expects a 7- to 10-year span before any preventive maintenance work will be necessary on the new roadway.
“Reconstructing I-96 addressed our state’s infrastructure needs that were critical to our future and our continued comeback,” Gov. Snyder said. “Congratulations to MDOT and the construction team who collaborated and used new innovations to complete this project ahead of schedule and on-budget. I also want to extend thanks to area residents for their patience during the construction.”