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

Work depends on temperature

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

WARREN, Mich. - A labor dispute shut down road construction work for weeks this summer, putting a lot of orange barrel projects behind schedule.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said at least one of the projects will be done by the end of the year.

“We do plan to have (Interstate) 696 east and west reopened by the end of the year, including the ramps,” MDOT’s Diane Cross said.

It depends on the temperature. Crews monitor the ambient air temperature and the surface temperature. If the temperature begins to drop, they haul out ground heaters and blankets.

“We’re confident that the stuff we’re putting down now in November and December is just as good as concrete that’s placed in summer,” said Brian Travis, assistant construction engineer.

Workers are expected to work day and night on I-696, and there are specific crews dedicated to keeping the temperature of the concrete just right.

“It’s a tremendous amount of extra work that has to take place when it’s cold,” Travis said.

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