I-275 getting major overhaul - detour details here

Drivers get ready. MDOT has launched a major project that will bring big changes for those who use a heavily-traveled stretch of Interstate-275.

MDOT is replacing a 13 mile stretch of road on I-275 from north of Five Mile Road to the I-96/I-696/M-5 interchange -- and the detour isn't exactly convenient.

"Unfortunately, the detour is about 22 miles out of the way. It is huge and it is going to be very inconvenient for drivers," Diane Cross of MDOT says. "But this is what you need to realize -- we have about 180,000 drivers a day use 275. Where do you send that traffic?"

Traffic will redistribute to as far east as M-39, west to US-23 and south to I-94, and throughout southern Oakland County and western Wayne County.

You can view other detour routes at www.revive275.com

All ramps on "mile" roads and the ramps at the I-96/I-696/M-5 interchange are included in the construction project. The project also includes shoulder work on I-275, concrete repairs on I-696, repairs on 16 bridges, drainage improvements and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) work.

Construction on the southbound lanes will take about four months, then I-275 northbound lanes will close with another 22 mile detour. No word on the official start date yet, but we're told it will be the end of April or early May.

The price tag is $75 million.

"Unfortunately, the road surface has disintegrated much sooner than expected and that's why, if we catch it now before it gets worse, we can do it for that price instead of double," Cross says.

For more information on the project, visit www.revive275.com