April 14, 2014 – Well, we reached the end of the first week of constructionmageddon on I-96. (So, I invented a new word, rhymes with snowmageddon!). So far, things seem to be going well. I drive through the construction every day, so I have first-hand knowledge of what is going on. I tested different routes every day last week. In the morning, I have stayed on the service drive to Telegraph, taken 5 Mile, 6 Mile, and Plymouth Roads to Telegraph and to Lahser and Outer Drive. I have found very little difference in my travel time taking any of these routes and none of them has been congested.
On my way home from downtown, I have stayed on the local lanes and gotten off at Outer Drive a couple of days and Telegraph a couple of days. From there, I have gone south to Plymouth to get home and gone north to 5 Mile and 6 Mile to get home. I have not encountered any significant congestion getting home using any of these routes so far.
On the first Monday of the closure as I was driving on the local lanes going home, I did observe a long line of cars waiting to get off on Southfield with most of them going south once on the overpass. I initially thought I would try getting off at Southfield and go north to the Grand River/Fenkell exit, would be the best way for me to get home, but guess I was wrong!
Anyway, whatever route you are taking, it seems that there has been no big hurt yet. All of this could change in the coming week as more schools are back in session. Also, as construction advances, there may be changes required in your choices. It is important that you continue to be patient, look for better routes, especially if congestion does grow and remember, this will all be over in about six months.
What do we get for this? Well, we get a lot. We get construction completed in one construction season instead of two. We get a project that costs fewer dollars so that other projects can also proceed. Most importantly, we get a new freeway that should be good for another 30 years or so. Sounds like a good deal to me!
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