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What Will The New I-96 Freeway Look Like?

The Michigan Department of Transportation will shut down seven miles of the freeway in 2014 for a major reconstruction.

The Michigan Department of Transportation on Monday released results of a public survey concerning the design, landscaping, and aesthetics of the reconstruction of the Interstate 96 freeway.

The $150 million project will shut down the freeway between Telegraph Road and Newburgh Road in 2014. MDOT held public meetings and conducted a survey in 2012 asking drivers to vote on whether to shut down the entire freeway—making for a shorter project, but with a larger construction impact—or to do the construction in phases.

Residents voted for the former option. Construction on the seven-mile stretch—including replacement of pavement, freeway drainage, and lighting, as well as repairs to 36 overpasses—will begin in early 2014.

The latest survey on the design of the project was administered online and at a public meeting in Redford in November 2012.

The I-96 reconstruction survey received 188 responses from members of the local community who made decisions on their preferences for barrier design, bridge fence design, color, corridor landscaping, planting, and service drive fencing and paving. MDOT may have to adjust the landscape items in some areas to fit site conditions, such as steep slopes and soil types.

Responses were quite clear on some matters. For example:

  • 88 percent of respondents favored vertical picket fencing over standard chain-link fencing.
  • 61 percent of respondents favored sustainable landscaping along the freeway over a mowed parkway.

According to Rob Morosi with the MDOT Office of Communications, the public suggestions are not concrete, and will be subject to fitting in with the project plan.

"Not all of the results can be implemented as is," Morosi explained. "We do reserve the right to have engineering supersede the vote in certain circumstances."

The results of the survey, as well as more information on the project, can be found at www.96fix.com. Those interested can also follow project developments at www.facebook.com/96fix  and www.twitter.com/96fix.

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