Consider this your two- to three-month warning.
(You’ll need this, trust me. You may even thank me later.)
Orange barrel season is right around the corner and this one, particularly in Macomb County, is gonna be a doozy. You might want to start planning your new route to work, to the Detroit Zoo or any other place you frequent using major east-west freeway I-696 now.
Here’s why: a badly needed, $90-million reconstruction of I-696 from I-75 to I-94 starts this spring, detouring all westbound traffic, roughly for six months. While eastbound traffic will flow, entrance and exit points will be limited starting in midsummer.
There’s also a $20-million repair and maintenance fix coming to I-696 between I-75 and I-275 in Oakland County, also starting in the spring. That project will be at night, often with only one lane open, and have weekend work, including 10 full weekend closures somewhere in the county. The schedule is not yet available.
Simply put, you’re going to want to avoid using I-696 if you can.