By Mike Kruzman /

A new, future project by the Michigan Department of Transportation will ease congestion exiting the City of Brighton, though there will likely be headaches during construction.

MDOT project managers recently met with Brighton City Council to discuss coming improvements to the I-96/Grand River interchange, which commonly backs up during peak hours. After performing a bridge and feasibility study and considering 7 different intersection alternatives, MDOT will be constructing a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), anticipated to begin in 2025. DDI’s are a fairly new concept and have proven to be effective in the small number of communities they have been built in nationally. When completed, drivers going through the underpass will find themselves crossing over to other side of the road they would normally be on. In this way, the DDI makes for better traffic flow, simpler left turns, reduced stop times, and results in 53% fewer accidents.

While the double roundabouts at US-23 and Lee Road near the city’s gateway on the other side of town have proven, and still do for some, to be a challenge for drivers, MDOT says DDIs are much more intuitive and easy to navigate.

With regards to city gateways from the highways, Council had concerns about the DDI project overlapping with the expansion of the US-23 Flex Route. MDOT Brighton TSC Manager Mark Sweeney said the odds of both projects going on simultaneously were very good.

Sweeney said he is about managing expectations, and there is no sugar coating that this project will bring a big impact to the area, and “when construction comes, it’s gonna be painful.” There will be periods of time where the ability to drive under the freeway will be gone, and while they will keep access open when possible, the more it is open, the longer the project will take.

Sweeney noted that while the new interchange will help traffic leaving the city, it will not impact traffic coming in. project, which includes reconstructing the bridge over Grand River, is projected to take a minimum of 2 years once it begins.

More information on the project can be found through the link below.