I-96 Flex Route Project update, 3 months into the 3 year project

The Flex Route Project on I-96 is fully underway in Oakland County.

"We have crews working to remove pavement, behind that, they start placing storm sewer, behind that there's some earthwork to get the great prepped, and then they deploy stone, and finally paved concrete on top of it. So all that is happening as we speak," said Brian Travis, an MDOT construction engineer.

The project consists of adding an extra lane on I-96 between Kent Lake Road and the I-275/M-5/I-696 interchange.  It will take up 12 miles in each direction.

MDOT says the extra flex lane is needed because an average of 163,000 drivers travel on I-96 every day.

"If you commute the stretch every day, you probably have 5 to 10 minutes added to your commute in each direction," Travis said. "Unfortunately, that is sort of the balance that we have to live with when we're trying to build freeways and major roads."

The Flex Route Project began three months ago on March 21 and is expected to take a total of three years to complete.

"Yes, we are on schedule," Travis said.

A mobile concrete batch plant stands on the corner of I-96 and Milford Road and will aid in the process.

"That's where all the concrete, on the job for this year, will come from.  They will pave 6 miles of concrete basically this year, and it will all come out of that plant," Travis said.

While the construction is inconvenient for travelers, the message today is to be patient and safe.

"Please, everyone slow down. Realize that you are either approaching or you are in a construction zone," Travis said. "Watch the traffic in front of you; traffic slows… traffic stops.  And always keep an eye out. If you're distracted you're not going to have time to react."