Old surface of I-696 in Warren to be re-purposed for new freeway

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The massive I-696 construction project is a traffic nightmare and will be all year but MDOT isn't wasting the old surface of the highway. The 40-year-old concrete will be recycled for the new highway.

At 696 and Mound in Warren, a massive concrete crushing project is grinding away at the old pavement.

It's been the road we drive every day on 696 for the past 40 years - now it's been ripped out as MDOT replaces the crumbling road way.

Project Manager Alan Ostrowski says they're trying to recycle the old road.

"As much as we can reuse, we reuse," he said. "It gets put in this crushing machine, screened out and shaken and broken down into this large piles of stones that is behind me."

It's turned into gravel which will be reused for the base material to be put underneath the new concrete on the new freeway.

"This doesn't go into the new concrete we're replacing, it goes underneath the new concrete we're replacing," Ostrowski said. "This material is tested and it's not expected to perform in the same way - it's a base material."

MDOT commonly reuses old concrete in major road construction projects.

"It saves time, money, effort, trucking. Everything's contained to the site for base operation," he said.

The concrete crushing project will last the entirety of the 696 project - through at least November of 2018.