LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Drivers traveling along I-96 in Kent County this weekend should prepare for backups.
The old M-50 overpass spanning I-96 will come tumbling down this weekend as the Michigan Department of Transportation clears out the old to make way for the new M-50 bridge.
During demolition, traffic travelling both west and eastbound on I-96 will be detoured around the area. Drivers will be routed off the highway using the exit and entrance ramps on either side of the bridge and will then be allowed to re-enter on the opposite side. Traffic approaching the area will also be narrowed to one lane in each direction.
The detour will be in effect from Friday at 9 p.m. until Monday morning at 5 a.m.
During the closure, M-50 traffic will be detoured to 52nd Street, Segwun Avenue and Cascade Road. Drivers on I-96 are advised to follow the posted detours along the route.
M-50 will also reopen Monday morning with traffic scheduled to be rerouted onto the new adjacent bridge. Crews plan to use a “bridge slide” method in October to literally slide the new structure into the place of the old bridge using hydraulics and possibly even dish soap.
The new bridge will be about 30 feet wider than the old one with room for up to four lanes and shoulder areas. A right-turn lane will be added for southbound M-50 traffic to westbound I-96.
The eastbound and westbound I-96 off ramps will also be widened to better accommodate left and right turns.
Check out the video animation below of how M-DOT plans to slide the new overpass into place.