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I-496 in Lansing to close through October for rebuilding project

I-496 in Lansing to close through October for rebuilding project
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 12:29 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’re planning on driving on I-496 within the next five months, you might want to start planning a different route.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will officially be closing both eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic Thursday. The highway will be closed from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard through the Grand River, near Cedar Street.

More: WILX News 10 Live Traffic Map

Eastbound traffic will be detoured onto Malcolm X Street and westbound traffic will be detoured onto St. Joseph Street.

MDOT said it’s an extremely large project and in order to keep their workers and drivers safe, they felt compelled to close the highway altogether.

“We’re reconstructing the pavement, we’re doing some drainage improvements -- including a deep storm sewer,” said Chris Gembel, an engineer with MDOT. “We’re repairing 17 structures -- three with deck replacements, as well as some lighting improvements in the corridor.”

Related: Lansing families concerned I-496 closure could lead to rise in speeding on residential streets

Kari Getts lives in Lansing. He said it’s one thing to close the highways, but with the construction on other major roadways going on, it’s going to be difficult navigating the city.

“To get anywhere downtown is going to be shunting a lot of traffic to roads that are just not able to maintain that level of traffic,” Getts said. “Since construction has already shutdown a fair amount of MLK as well, it’s just going to be hell for a while. I-496 is kind of a main way to get downtown. How else are you going to get here without taking the back roads?”

“It’s going to add a little bit more time to the commute,” said Deciderio Riojas.

Riojas works in Downtown Lansing, but he said he’s not terribly bothered by the highway closures. On the contrary, he’s keeping a positive attitude and looking forward to the new roads.

“I’ve had to replace a tire due to the potholes,” Riojas said. “So anytime they’re fixing the roads, I’m all for it.

The project is expected to last through October. More information can be found on the official I-495 Rebuilding Project webpage here.

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