LIVONIA, Mich. - All lanes of eastbound and westbound I-96 will be closed in Wayne County between Newburgh and Telegraph roads beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday and lasting until October.
It will be a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of drivers, but Local 4 found some people actually looking forward to the dreaded detour.
Crews will rebuild seven miles of roadway, repair 37 overpasses and upgrade freeway utilities.
"It's reached that age. It's reached the condition that it just needs to be completely ripped up and replaced," said Rob Morosi, spokesman for MDOT. "One hundred forty thousand use that freeway every day."
The eastbound and westbound I-96 service drives (Schoolcraft Road) will have only the right lane open between Telegraph and Newburgh roads until October.
All ramps leading onto eastbound and westbound I-96 between Telegraph and Newburgh roads will be closed starting at 7 p.m. Friday until October.
In addition, the following ramps will be closed until October:
- Outer Drive to westbound I-96
- Greenfield Road to westbound I-96
- Evergreen Road to westbound I-96
- Northbound and southbound M-39 (Southfield Freeway) ramps to westbound I-96
As people navigate the detours, especially in the first few days, MDOT said be prepared for backups.
"The first two weeks people will be experimenting which route they want to take," said Morosi. "People should start experimenting with different routes."
"I hope the nice weather is going to bring out the best in everybody," said Lynn Aleman, who works in the area. "It's just the time that it's going to take and making the modifications to make it work."
On westbound I-96, all express lanes will be forced onto M-39. Local lanes will be forced off onto Telegraph Road. The westbound I-96 local lanes will not be able to access M-39.
Eastbound M-14 traffic will be forced off onto I-275.
The northbound and southbound I-275 ramps to eastbound I-96 will be reduced to one lane, with all eastbound traffic forced off at Newburgh Road.
Drivers are dreading the detour, but then there are those like Va Chann, the owner of Donuttown on 5 Mile, who's smiling from ear to ear. His shops sits right along one of main alternate routes.
"I need some more business," said Chann.
For Chan it's a sweet deal -- more detours, more traffic, which could mean more donuts off the shelves.
"Stop by, and have coffee and (a) doughnut here, made fresh daily," said Chann, who said Donuttown has been there for 27 years.
Drivers are certainly going to need gas. Owners at a Marathon on Plymouth said they need the business, too.
"It's going to be bad for many people. A lot of people take it for work, but good for us," said Marathon manager Abdalla Hacham. "Everyone will come over here. Really busy. Need someone else to work with me."
Businesses are hoping the re-routes will drive up sales.
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