Detroit River Fishing

One way tunnel? It's after 5PM on a weekday afternoon and a Canada-bound traffic jam forms at the entrance to the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. Minimal incoming traffic is seen entering the US at the top.

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  1. #1
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    Default Long stretch of I-96 to close for overhaul in 2014

    Like the I-94 Rehabilitation Project, it looks like I-96 is going to be rebuilt as well.

    http://www.freep.com/article/2012043...xt%7CFRONTPAGE

  2. #2
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    Didn't this stretch of 96 get rebuilt just 8 -10 years ago?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevgoblue View Post
    Didn't this stretch of 96 get rebuilt just 8 -10 years ago?
    Well, yeah, but how are Michigan's uncreative road-builders supposed to make money unless they replace all our interstates every eight years, always building them bigger and more expensively?

  4. #4
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    Welfare program for construction firms. That's all it is.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevgoblue View Post
    Didn't this stretch of 96 get rebuilt just 8 -10 years ago?
    No, it just got the el-cheapo "slap 4 inches of asphalt on it and call it good" treatment, which never lasts all that long. This time they're going to take it down to the dirt, including replacing the drainage and lighting systems.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevgoblue View Post
    Didn't this stretch of 96 get rebuilt just 8 -10 years ago?
    Yeah, probably not even 8 years ago.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray1936 View Post
    Welfare program for construction firms. That's all it is.
    Amen, Ray.

  8. #8
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    If this 7-mile segment of I-96 can be closed for months-on-end, doesn't that make it a bit *ahem* unnecessary?

  9. #9
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    There has to be some other road in the metro area that needs attention more than I-96 between Telegraph and Newburgh. Maybe by 2014 it will be worse, but right now the worst that I can say about that stretch of road is that that the asphalt patch between lanes make switching lanes noticeable but otherwise it is smooth sailing.

  10. #10
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    I wonder how this will affect the rapid transit bus route planning (assuming the RTA finally gets approved)..

  11. #11

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    I find this a disturbing indictment on Michigan road building. We go cheap and fast and the result is predictable. I hope they dig it all up, do it right this time and put a strong Autobahn-depth pavement.

    This road is kind of special for me as I watched it being built then drove on it immediately when it opened just over 30 years ago. At the time I was a Sears delivery driver and Sears had moved their warehouse from Highland Park, where I also lived, to Livonia. The drive was a long and difficult cross town plod, generally winding along Schoolcraft and Plymouth paralleling the dig and construction.

    It didn't take long for it to start falling apart and has been blacktop-acketed at least a couple of times since. To underline its poor construction, bear in mind that this road is primarily a commuter rat rut, not enduring the same heavy truck pounding that 94 and 75 do. I hope the idea of requiring road builders to warrantee their work gets revisited.

  12. #12
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    This was not a cheap fix. MDOT spent a couple of million to resuface the roadway so it would last another ten years. This process is known as asset management. Remember this stretch of road is pushing 40 years of age. 40 years is a long time to go without much maintenance. The rebuild will not increase capacity, but it will address the now 40 year old bridges that take a beating everyday. In my mind it was money well spent. A couple of million to extand a freeway another 10 years vs $150 million to reconstruct it then. Not to mention the costs to society and business by closing a road down every 30 years as opposed to every 40 years.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    If this 7-mile segment of I-96 can be closed for months-on-end, doesn't that make it a bit *ahem* unnecessary?
    ...no.

    It being closed to maintain it.

    Using your logic, even if we kept it open, if we're able to close to one lane to do roadwork, then that lane isn't needed. Then when it's time to do road work on the next lane and we need to shut it down, then that one isn't needed.

    And before you know it every road is deemed as unnecessary because we have to close lanes to do road maintenance.

  14. #14
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    Several people went on long rants on how the multi-billion dollar project on I-94 is necessary (because it wasn't up to grade, it would increase economic activity in the city, etc.), what's going to be excuse for wasting money on this project, other than to shrink the freeway and remove the heavily underutilized lanes?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    If this 7-mile segment of I-96 can be closed for months-on-end, doesn't that make it a bit *ahem* unnecessary?
    I think we do overvalue freeways, especially in urban areas. But it is only part of a system. Thus, the system will continue to handle traffic without this segment. Then on another day, this segment will handle traffic for another segment. Its a network.

    Long-haul trucks to and from Canada us I96 quite extensively. They'll move to I94 for the time being.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Long-haul trucks to and from Canada us I96 quite extensively. They'll move to I94 for the time being.
    That makes sense. That would help MDOT make the argument that I-94 needs to be widened. Look at all this TRUCK TRAFFIC!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    That makes sense. That would help MDOT make the argument that I-94 needs to be widened. Look at all this TRUCK TRAFFIC!
    Does anyone else think this idea of closing entire freeway is bad policy? It has to discourage suburban-downtown entertainment traffic for smaller, discretionary trips.

    I think MDOT is going easy on contractors.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Does anyone else think this idea of closing entire freeway is bad policy? It has to discourage suburban-downtown entertainment traffic for smaller, discretionary trips.

    I think MDOT is going easy on contractors.
    That freeway is sort of lightly used, isn't it? I mean, at some points, with the express lanes and local lanes, it's kind of overkill, isn't it?

    Anyway, we've had this discussion before. When they close a freeway, they predict all sorts of traffic snarls lasting forever and ever until the freeway is re-opened. What happens when they close a freeway permanently? The traffic goes elsewhere, and the snarls do not materialize ... pretty interesting.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    That freeway is sort of lightly used, isn't it? I mean, at some points, with the express lanes and local lanes, it's kind of overkill, isn't it?

    Anyway, we've had this discussion before. When they close a freeway, they predict all sorts of traffic snarls lasting forever and ever until the freeway is re-opened. What happens when they close a freeway permanently? The traffic goes elsewhere, and the snarls do not materialize ... pretty interesting.
    That freeway is probably never utilized at more than 50% capacity. At almost any time of the day you can drive from downtown to the M-14/275 interchange 85 MPH and barely ever have to touch your brakes (unless you see the cops or something).

  20. #20
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    MDOT recently put out a video explaining why some areas seem to be fixed several times why others seem to be neglected.

    It's all about the right fix at the right place at the right time.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48091 View Post
    ...no.

    It being closed to maintain it.

    Using your logic, even if we kept it open, if we're able to close to one lane to do roadwork, then that lane isn't needed. Then when it's time to do road work on the next lane and we need to shut it down, then that one isn't needed.
    Maintain? No, the entire roadway is being reconstructed.

    And yes, that is EXACTLY what I'm saying. If you can close a road outright for damn near a year, and people are still able to get around just fine, then you probably don't need such a road, especially if it's as gold-plated as I-96.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    Maintain? No, the entire roadway is being reconstructed.

    And yes, that is EXACTLY what I'm saying. If you can close a road outright for damn near a year, and people are still able to get around just fine, then you probably don't need such a road, especially if it's as gold-plated as I-96.
    I'm completely for the expansion (err... creation) of mass transit, I just don't think you're appraisal is correct.

    They're closing it down because the work can be performed faster. Closing it down for a season has less impact than a longer project would that maintains some open lanes. Because if you closed down a lane or two, the freeway is just as useless as if it is completely closed.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    Maintain? No, the entire roadway is being reconstructed.

    And yes, that is EXACTLY what I'm saying. If you can close a road outright for damn near a year, and people are still able to get around just fine, then you probably don't need such a road, especially if it's as gold-plated as I-96.
    Depends how you define "just fine". If we're simply going to say that the mere presence of detour routes negates the need for an expressway, well, you can also get from Detroit to Florida...or wherever "just fine" without I-75.
    Last edited by bailey; May-01-12 at 02:15 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    Depends how you define "just fine". If we're simply going to say that the mere presence of alternate routes negates the need for an expressway, well, you can get from Detroit to Florida "just fine" without I-75 too.
    I don't think there's a great deal of objection to inter-city freeways, not from urban planners, or even by the environmental crowd. I believe most of the objections are against commuter trunk roads, intra-city freeways, urban expressways etc. For instance, I imagine many of us would be much happier if, in the 1950s, they routed roads around cities, with exits for arterials leading into the cities.

    Instead, they rammed them right through with little thought about what this would do to the delicate networks of streets and thoroughfares.

    And, no, Hermod: Why it was done doesn't change what it did.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48091 View Post
    I'm completely for the expansion (err... creation) of mass transit, I just don't think you're appraisal is correct.

    They're closing it down because the work can be performed faster. Closing it down for a season has less impact than a longer project would that maintains some open lanes. Because if you closed down a lane or two, the freeway is just as useless as if it is completely closed.

    Regardless of the rationale, or the speed at which the work is completed...

    ...it still stands that MDOT decided the road network could function with this segment of I-96 effectively removed from the map for one year. Rationalize that however you want.

    I have shirts in my closet that I throw away if I go a year without wearing them.

    But hey, money is free. Build all the gold-plated roads you want.

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