I-275 SB closure coming next week as summer-long project begins

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A highway headache is on the way for drivers in parts of Wayne and Oakland counties.

A lo

ng stretch of I-275 from I-696 to Five Mile Road will be shut down starting 12:01 Monday morning. Crews last worked on this stretch of freeway in the 1990s leaving plenty of work for MDOT as well as for drivers learning to maneuver around it.

"It’s a little frustrating," said Debbie Brown. "It seems like all the mile roads need work too. Not sure how that will affect 275. I’m sure it is not going to be wonderful."

It is a sight drivers all over Michigan must get used to in the coming months. Orange barrels and construction crews everywhere are a sign of what's become known as the road construction season.

This weekend the prep work begins on a major project that will change the way we get around parts of Oakland and Wayne counties.

"I've been practicing by taking Haggerty and Novi road to Six mile," said Mike Briskey. "I'm hoping I am far enough north I'll miss it.

Michigan Department of Transportation workers will begin re-painting lanes, putting out new signs and moving barrels in place throughout Livonia, Farmington Hills and Novi in the next couple of days.

That means periodic  ramp and lane closures near southbound I-275 from the I-696 interchange to just before M-14. This of course all leads up to the big shutdown slated for at 12:01 Monday morning.

"We were out here not that long ago, 15 years ago," said Diane Cross, MDOPT spokesperson.  "Unfortunately we learned some painful and expensive lessons when it comes to some of the concrete mix. The standard of concrete in the late 1990s to early 2000s was unfortunately a mixture in the concrete that was not as long lasting."

The $75 million road improvement project includes replacing some 88 miles of concrete pavement, repairs to 16 bridges, as well as  shoulder and drainage work.

Crews will first start on the southbound side of I-275, then switch gears and work on the northbound part of the highway. So expect detours and delays for the next several months.

The project's completion is scheduled for early September.