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Detroit Grand Prix track nearly ready with minimal disruption to traffic

For the first time since 1991, Indy Cars will soon be flying down Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit.

In less than 36 hours, Detroit will be home to the screeching tires of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The event moved from Belle Isle to the city core this year and organizers are trying to disrupt a minimal amount of traffic all while keeping an international border open.

“We're in crunch time now. It's all it's all becoming real,” said Michael Montri, the president of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.

He said crews will close another road Wednesday night and work through the wee hours to complete the track build-out.

“And through the day tomorrow to be ready for on track action on Friday morning,” said Montri.

This year’s track is only 1.7 miles long, about 600 metres shorter than the course on Belle Isle.

Organizers did that purposefully to keep the races on the riverfront and south of Jefferson Avenue to avoid interfering with the bustling downtown district.

“We want the businesses to benefit we want people to come down Park and go to a restaurant and then come to the event,” said Montri. “We want to have that walkability, that a downtown really gives you especially downtown Detroit.”

The track build-out took only 30 days and main roads like Jefferson Avenue have been open the whole time until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews are making a final push to wrap up the build-out before racers arrive Thursday.

“It's a shortened build, but we're in really good shape and looking forward to it,” said Montri. “We're on schedule everything feels like a rush when you're trying to get done with a hard deadline like we have, but, but we're in good shape.”

The international border remains open throughout this entire process, race day included.

There are paid tickets available with grandstand seating, but anyone strolling along the river-walk or Hart Plaza can get up next to the track and watch for free the whole weekend.

“We have free viewing platforms scattered across the circuit so you can wander around and get up in the air a little bit and watch,” Montri said.

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