One side of I-475 slated to reopen next week

The southbound lanes of I-475 between Clio and Carpenter roads are scheduled to reopen soon...
The southbound lanes of I-475 between Clio and Carpenter roads are scheduled to reopen soon nearly eight months of construction. (WJRT)
Published: Oct. 28, 2019 at 2:03 PM EDT
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(10/28/2019) - One of the largest road projects seen in decades in Genesee County is coming to a close.

After months of both sides of I-475 being closed to traffic, the Michigan Department of Transportation says the headache is almost over.

The southbound lanes of the freeway closed between Clio and Carpenter roads last March for a total rebuild. The northbound lanes in the same stretch closed in late July.

Intense weather over the past few months left MDOT questioning whether I-475 would be able to reopen in 2019. Luckily, work is on schedule meaning the southbound lanes are expected to reopen next week.

"We're looking at opening southbound hopefully at the end of next week -- mainly just the main line," said MDOT engineer Keith Brown.

He acknowledged there have been a few delays and hiccups along the way, but the majority of the project is finished, meaning drivers can get back to their normal commutes.

"We may still have the ramp closed from southbound I-475 to Saginaw Street because were still working on it," Brown said. "We're still getting pavement markings out there. We have some guardrail we need to do and some shoulder work. But we're hoping to have that all set and ready to open next week."

While news of the reopening should offer some relief for southbound drivers, anyone heading north will have to wait a bit longer.

"We have a lot of pavement left on northbound," Brown said. "Some curb and gutter we're still doing and a little bit of earth work. So we're still looking at northbound mid-December."

Despite the setbacks and delays, MDOT says the $44 million project will create a much smoother and safe commute for drivers in northern Genesee County.

The ramp from eastbound I-69 to I-475 will be closed all day on Wednesday while crews replace an overhead sign truss. The closure is planned from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.