MADISON HEIGHTS (WWJ) - Drivers who travel eastbound on I-696 in the Madison Heights area will have to endure delays until further notice.
The Michigan Department of Transportation announced Monday that eastbound I-696 Exit 19 to Couzens Avenue is expected to remain closed indefinitely due to the ongoing cleanup and investigation of the green ooze that seeped onto the freeway.
To further cause a driving headache, the northbound I-75 ramp to eastbound I-696 will also have the far-right lane closed indefinitely.
Drivers should continue to expect slow traffic along eastbound I-696 from after Woodward Ave. to Couzens. Westbound I-696 traffic is not affected.
The HAZMAT cleanup of the green ooze began in late December after Hexavelent Chromium and other hazardous chemicals made their way onto the onto the shoulder of the freeway in Madison Heights.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy determined the source of the toxic ooze was the site of former Electro-Plating Services facility, at 10 Mile Rd. and Couzens. As cleanup on the freeway and at the ooze site continues, EGLE said it's starting a full formal assessment of the building, owned by Gary Sayers, who was recently imprisoned for violations of environmental laws at his company
Meanwhile, officials are also investigating heavy levels of polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, found at the Madison Heights site. That discovery was made from samples of contaminated water collected in the basement pit of the facility, with levels more than 100 times the legal limit.
On Friday EGLE announced it had found and was investigating potentially hazardous liquids at a second site owned by Sayers. That facility is located on Commonwealth St. inear the Lodge and I-94 interchange in Detroit., not far from Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State University.