'You got to be smart about it.' Here's how people plan to navigate new road closures ahead of NFL Draft

Navigating road closures
Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 17:13:05-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — More closures are going into effect in downtown Detroit ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Starting Saturday at 6 a.m., NB and SB Woodward will be closed from State St. to Larned St. SB Woodward will also be closed from Montcalm Street and Elizabeth Street.

Closure map from the City of Detroit:

The city says the following streets will also see closures:

  • Michigan Avenue from Griswold Street and Woodward Avenue
  • Fort Street from Griswold Street and Woodward Avenue
  • Congress Street from Griswold Street to Randolph Street
  • Larned Street from Griswold Street to just east of Woodward Avenue
  • Monroe Street from Randolph Street Brush Street (Closed Sunday Evening at 10:00pm)

"What is it like trying to navigate through traffic right about now with all the cones down here?" I asked.

"I try not to. I take the People Mover. I walk. I take Atwater. You got to be smart about it. You got to figure out how to navigate and downtown luckily is accessible walking wise," said Kevin Reddy.

Reddy, who is originally from the Chicago area, says he is planning to attend the draft events next weekend.

"It’s amazing. I just moved here under a year ago and it’s just great to see the city have such excitement, such hope on a national stage. It’s just wonderful," said Reddy. "Go Bears. I’m excited about the picks. I’m going to be down here on Thursday and I’m excited to get heckled."

VIDEO: Here's a look at Phase 3 of the road closures:

Phase 3 of road closures for NFL Draft are now in effect

Reddy is one of the 300,000-400,000 people expected during the draft. The city says the draft footprint will take up much of the area on Woodward between Campus Martius park and Hart Plaza.

"It’s good. It will bring people here, businesses and maybe new fans, fan base. I’m excited for the lions this year," said Daniel Abed who was in town visiting from Arizona.

Abed says the city has changed a lot since he moved away 15 years ago.

"We’re one week out so it’s really becoming crunch time with building out everything. So far, most of the construction has been limited up to the Monroe block where they’re building the actual theater and the footprint," said Sam Krassenstein who is the Chief of Infrastructure for the City of Detroit.

Krassenstein says despite big events happening this upcoming weekend, like the Nicki Minaj concert at LCA, he doesn't expect many traffic jams downtown.

Krassenstein also reminds people who live downtown to pay attention to no parking zones.

"So, I’d say for people that are living down here/ coming down here on Friday night, for the areas that we are going to have road closures on, vehicles do need to be moved by 3 a.m. on Saturday morning so we can be ready to start closing the road at 6," said Krassenstein.

VIDEO: Phase 2 of road closures kicks off with parking confusion

NFL Draft phase 2 of road closures kicks off with parking confusion

The city also reminds community members that sidewalks downtown are still open despite closures so people can continue visiting businesses. They recommend parkig further out and using the people mover to get closer to destinations in impacted areas. The Q Line will also still run however after Saturday it will not go past Little Cesar's Arena.

Additional road closures are expected starting Wednesday April 23rd.