Jessica Mathews /

A big construction project that will impact area commuters is getting underway with weekend closures.

The I-696 Rebuilding Michigan project will require a complete closure to prepare for a traffic shift which will have both directions of I-696 sharing the westbound side.

MDOT advises that westbound I-696 will be closed from US-24 (Telegraph Road) to I-275 from 8pm Friday, through 5am Monday. Once it re-opens on Monday, through late fall, westbound I-696 will have two lanes open from Telegraph to I-275. The Orchard Lake Road ramp to westbound I-696 will remain closed through late fall.

Additionally beginning Friday, March 10th, through late fall, eastbound I-696 from I-275 to US-24 (Telegraph Road) will have traffic shifted onto the westbound side with two lanes open in each direction.

MDOT says the $275 (m) million project includes rebuilding the roadway from the base up, including storm sewer replacement work and rebuilding ramps at Orchard Lake Road, American Drive, Franklin Road, M-10 (Northwestern Highway), and US-24 (Telegraph Road).

During 2023, eastbound I-696 will be rebuilt from I-275 to Evergreen Road. The westbound lanes will be rebuilt in 2024.

Funding for the project was though Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program to rebuild the state highways and bridges that are critical to the state's economy and carry the most traffic. MDOT says the investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer useful lives and improves the condition of the state's infrastructure. Based on economic modeling, the $275 (m) million investment is expected to, directly and indirectly, support 3,500 jobs.

Project details can be found in the provided link.