ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and MDOT say they will be removing road barriers and opening lanes to traffic this weekend to ease congestion. However, the majority of that easing will not be in the metro Detroit area.
LC Scramlin is the Director of Livestock and Agriculture for the Michigan State Fair in Novi, which opened Thursday and runs through Labor Day.
“We’ve made a huge change in that you don’t have to pay for parking. So we can get people in faster. They can flag them in, you don’t have to stop,” explained Scramlin.
He says things look good outside the venue.
“We think we’ve got a good traffic flow and Grand River doesn’t have any construction, so we’re thinking we are much more positive than we were last year,” Scramlin said.
He explained they’ve been working hard inside the venue as well.
“We’ve made bigger midways, more room in the building, opened it up more. So we’re just really ready for you,” said Scramlin.
Unfortunately, Rob Morosi, with MDOT says if you’re heading toward Novi from Detroit, the bottleneck on 96 where it meets 696, 275 and M-5 will remain.
“Same with 275 in the general area of Wayne County from 6 Mile down to 94. Same with M-59 and then anybody heading up north on I-75 in Madison Heights and Royal Oak will still have two lanes open from 696 up to about 14 Mile,” explained Morosi.
There will, however, be improvement elsewhere in the state.
“We’re going pull about 60 percent of the projects that we have statewide for the holiday weekend to ease travel,” said Morosi.
Another big event this weekend that draws hundreds of thousands of people is the Arts, Beats and Eats festival in Royal Oak.
Jon Witz, the producer of the event, described what people can expect.
“18 blocks of art, music, food, and family fun,” explained Witz.
“We’re the local option for Labor Day weekend. If you don’t want to travel, if gas prices have been in your way and you want to do something, we have so much to offer,” Witz said.
He added that if someone really wants to avoid traffic, the event caters to those people too.
“SMART Bus has routes here. We have bicycles so you can park for free and lock up your bike on the north and south.”
Michiganders heading north for the Labor Day weekend are reminded the Mackinac Bridge will be closed in both directions on Labor Day from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm.