MDOT says I-96 shutdown will happen after North American International Auto Show in January

Work on the impending I-96 project in Livonia and Redford will not begin until at least the end of January, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said the project, which will close a seven mile stretch of the freeway through the two communities, won’t begin until after the North American International Auto Show in January.

The agency put out a news release Monday saying the shutdown wouldn’t start until after Jan. 26, the end of the auto show in downtown Detroit.

Cross said MDOT will not be able to start the construction until then because of other issues and not the auto show. MDOT will open bids by contractors Dec. 11. By the time a contractor is selected and work is ready to begin, it will be at least the end of January.

The auto show reference was used to inform people heading downtown during the two-week event that I-96 will continue to operate as usual.
Start date not related to auto show

“That decision was not made because of (the auto show),” Cross said. “One has nothing to do with the other.”

She said signs and other information will be posted to inform motorists who are unaware of the upcoming shutdown.

The $170-million project will shut down seven miles of the freeway both directions, running from Telegraph in Redford to Newburgh in Livonia. The shutdown will start early next year and run through the rest of 2014 after a vote was taken to shut the freeway down completely.

The project will reconstruct I-96 in this span, and repair or replace some 37 bridges across the freeway.

Another public meeting is expected to take place sometime early next year, but Cross said no date or location has been set yet.

A local project to help alleviate future traffic in Livonia and Redford should see completion sometime this week, Cross said. MDOT began work earlier this fall to widen the exit ramp to Six Mile off southbound I-275 to help accommodate traffic the state expects with the shutdown. Crews are wrapping up work to extend the ramp, which will provide another full lane.

“Everything is planned to be done this week,” she said.

The official detour freeways MDOT is using during the shutdown include I-696, I-94 and the Southfield Freeway.

More information on the upcoming project can be found by visiting 96fix.com.

As read on: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20131126/NEWS10/311260026/I-96-work-won-t-start-until-late-January

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