I-696 experiences lane closures; construction expected to be completed in January

By Koco McAboy - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

It's only a little more than two weeks from the end of 2018 and the I-696 construction project in Macomb County likely won't make the end-of-the-year deadline.

ORIGINAL STORY: MDOT officials expect I-696 to be finished by end of year despite weather

"We have been working as much as we possibly can against the weather and the clock," said Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson Diane Cross.

The goal was to open up I-696 in both directions before the year ended.

"It looks like now, overall, the project is going to be more like early January before we can get both eastbound and westbound open," Cross said.

One of the reasons for the delay was the labor dispute over summer. 

RELATED: Metro Detroit drivers frustrated by road workers' labor stoppage

"That loss of prime construction season of September, when the weather's good, the days are long and you get a lot done, that definitely has put us behind," Cross said.

The cold weather hasn't helped, either, affecting the curing time on the concrete. The longer it takes to cure and become a safe drivable surface, the longer it takes to reopen the lanes. 

Drivers are being asked to stay patient, with the possibility of another month of closures to go. 

At 9 p.m. Sunday, westbound I-696 from Couzens to Woodward avenues will have only one lane open. The Campbell-Hilton entrance ramp to I-696 will also be closed.

Cross said there will be good news soon on construction updates.

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