GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Many drivers were surprised Monday morning when they discovered eastbound I-96 between US-131 and Leonard Street in Grand Rapids was closed.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has had asphalt resurfacing for the stretch on the books for several months. The $6 million project will fix both the east and westbound five-mile stretch between I-196 and US-131.

“This is the first Monday because it closed down on Friday night,” MDOT spokesman John Richard said. “So being the first Monday, people were a little off-guard and there were two crashes southbound by Ann Street. That kind of messed everything up for the morning rush hour. So hopefully tomorrow will be better.”

The eastbound lanes closed Friday and are slated to reopen Oct. 10, dependent on weather.

“They’re already paving,” Richard said. “So by this Sunday, we should have eastbound totally done with pavement markings… and the following weekend we’ll do another 10-day closure for westbound” lanes between Leonard and US-131.

In the meantime, drivers are asked to use US-131 and I-196 as alternative routes.

Richard said the resurfacing will expand I-96’s shelf life for at least another decade. Maintenance crews have also taken advantage of the closure and have fixed guardrails and complete some bridge work.