DETROIT, MI – Southbound I-75 will be closed from Detroit to Downriver in less than three weeks. This closure is part of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) approximately $200 million investment in major repairs over a two-year period.
The detour begins at I-96 in Detroit to Northline Road in 2017; during 2018, the detour will be from I-96 to Sibley Road. Only southbound I-75 will be closed during the two-year period while northbound I-75 will remain open at all times.
The project includes:
– Removing and replacing all concrete on the I-75 Rouge River bridge, the largest concrete surface in Michigan (approximately 20 football fields).
– Replacing concrete on the I-75 bridge at Fort Street, south of Springwells Road.
– Removing the Goddard Street bridge over I-75 and replacing it with two smaller bridges.
– Repairing 13 other bridges along I-75 through the Downriver communities.
– Adding intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment. ITS includes a combination of electronic, telecommunication and information technology MDOT uses to improve safety and travel times on the transportation system.
The decision to close one direction of I-75 is based on multiple factors, including:
– Speed: Rebuilding one side of the bridge at a time without traffic present will result in the project being completed in the shortest amount of time.
– Cost: The shorter project duration resulting from rebuilding one side of bridge at a time will result in the lowest overall project cost.
– Safety: If the bridge was constructed in sections with both directions of traffic sharing one side, there wouldn’t be adequate room for emergency crews to respond to incidents on the bridge.
– Mobility: Maintaining limited two-way traffic on one side of freeway would cause back-ups in both directions, as opposed to one direction.
– Quality: Rebuilding one side of the bridge at a time will allow construction to proceed without interruption since there will be no need to maintain traffic. The decreased vibrations from nearby traffic will result in the best quality workmanship.
– Duration: By closing southbound I-75, construction activity will move faster since not as much time and effort will be needed to shift traffic.
Motorists will see signs announcing the closure along I-75 to allow residents, businesses, and drivers plenty of time to prepare alternate routes. Detours and details can be found at the project website, www.75rougeriver.com.
The detour route is southbound I-75 to westbound I-96, then southbound I-275 to southbound I-75 in Monroe. Other alternate routes include I-94, M-85 (Fort Street), Jefferson Avenue, and Dix Highway.