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Interstate 696

While in the Detroit Area this year I drove the entirety of Interstate 696.


I-696 is an approximately 28.4 mile spur route of I-96 which runs east/west from I-96/I-275/M-5 in Farming Hills to I-94 in St. Clair Shores.  I-696 serves a primary connector route of the northern suburbs of Detroit and has a contentious history regarding some of it's newer segments.

According to michiganhighways.org a chargeable Interstate route between Farmington Hills and St. Clair Shores was approved in 1956.  Amusingly the Lodge Freeway north of the Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94) was signed as I-696 Business Spur in 1962 even before a single segment of I-696 opened.  I-696 between I-96/I-275/M-5 east to Orchard Lake Road opened in July of 1963 and extension to US 24/Lodge Freeway was completed by December.  The State of Michigan received Federal Funding in 1966 to extend I-696 to I-94, but this is where construction of the freeway slowed.  By early 1979 I-696 opened between I-75 east to I-94.  The remaining segment of I-696 would be opened to traffic in December of 1989 between US 24/M-10 and I-75.  I-696 is officially known as the "Walter P. Reuther Freeway" but unlike the majority of major Detroit Area freeways is rarely referred to as such.

michiganhighways.org on I-696

My approach to I-696 in 2019 was east from I-96 east.  That being said my initial approach was during the evening therefore these two photos are my approach to I-696 east from I-275 north/I-96 east in 2015.  I-696 begins a mutual junction where M-5 can accessed along the corridor of Grand River in Farmington Hills of Oakland County.



I-696 eastbound crosses through Farmington Hills into Southfield.  In Southfield I-696 meets M-10 on the Lodge Freeway and US 24 on Telegraph Road at Exit 8.  The Lodge Freeway was signed as I-696 BS until it was designated as US 10 in 1970.  In 1986 the Lodge Freeway was designated M-10 when US 10 was truncated to Bay City.




I-696 east enters Oak Park, Huntington Woods and Royal Oak where it has a junction with M-1 on Woodward Avenue at Exit 16.




I-696 east meets I-75 at Exit 18 and enters Madison Heights.


East of Madison Heights I-696 enters Warren of Macomb County.  At Exit 23 I-696 has a junction with M-53 on Van Dyke Avenue.





In east Warren I-696 east meets M-97 on Grosebeck Highway at Exit 26.



In Roseville I-696 east meets M-3 (former US 25) at Exit 27/Gratiot Avenue.




I-696 east terminates at I-94 in St. Clair Shores.




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