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Gov. Whitmer visits the I-96 Flex Route Project to kick off road construction

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday visited the I-96 Flex Route Project in Oakland County to kick-off the road construction season in Michigan.

Marking her first 100 days of her second term and pledge to “fix the damn roads,” Whitmer was joined by Acting State Transportation Director Brad Wieferich, U.S. Reps Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills).

A video news release of the tour and remarks by the group is posted on the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) YouTube channel. 

“This $269 million project supports 3,416 jobs,” said Whitmer. “These are people. These are families who rely on this work to take care of themselves and get ahead. So when you see an orange barrel, it might not make you happy, but it should remind you to slow down and appreciate we’re getting work done, but (also) there’s men and women on the side of the road risking their lives.”

Started in 2022, the three-year project will rebuild a portion of I-96 between Kent Lake Road and the I-275/M-5/I-696 interchange. An active traffic management system or a Flex Lane will be added along the same portion of freeway to improve traffic flow, which will include: 

• Gantries, lane control signs, message boards, cameras, and detection to allow part-time peak-period median shoulder use, provide queue warning and variable speed advisories, and facilitate incident management.

• Ramp metering at eight entrance ramps to help reduce congestion and improve travel time reliability and safety by breaking up entering traffic groups.

• Seven crash investigation sites along outside shoulders to provide clearance of incidents.

Funding for this project is made possible by the governor’s Rebuilding Michigan program to rebuild the state highways and bridges that are critical to the state’s economy and carry the most traffic. The investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer useful lives and improves the condition of the state’s infrastructure.

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