Interstate 496 comprises an urban loop through the city of Lansing between I-69/96 in Delta Township and the U.S. 127 freeway in East Lansing. I-496 provides a high speed route to Downtown Lansing, crossing the Grand River southeast of the Michigan State Capitol. The eastern leg overlaps with U.S. 127 by Michigan State University (MSU) to I-96 just southeast of the Lansing city limits.
The Recommended Numbering plan for Interstate Highways in Michigan submitted to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) by the Michigan State Highway Department on April 25, 1958 assigned 296 to the urban loop through Lansing. Per correspondance between Michigan and AASHO on August 15, 1958, 296 was reassigned to the connector in Grand Rapids and 496 to the route at Lansing. Final approval was given for the route of Interstate 96 between Benton Harbor and Detroit on December 18, 1958, formalizing I-496 at the capital city.
The last section of Interstate 496 opened to traffic in 1970.1