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I-75 Gateway Project ahead of schedule as first year of construction ends
January 12, 2009 -- Almost a year after the start of construction, the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) I-75 Gateway Project is more than 70 percent complete and ahead of schedule. The goal of the project, which runs along the I-75/I-96 corridor from Rosa Parks Boulevard to Clark Street in southwest Detroit, is to ease traffic congestion at the Detroit - Windsor border crossing, and provide a direct connection from I-75, I-96 and other area freeways to the Ambassador Bridge. Most importantly, the project will improve the quality of life in the Mexicantown community by removing truck traffic from local streets, making them safer for residents and visitors alike.
One of the many unique aspects of the I-75 Gateway Project is that MDOT and the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) are working together. MDOT is reconstructing 2.5 miles of I-75 and I-96, and 18 bridges and 24 ramps. This includes a signature pedestrian bridge connecting east and west Mexicantown at Bagley Avenue adjacent to the newly opened Detroit Mexicantown International Welcome Center. The DIBC's responsibility is to redesign and rebuild the Ambassador Bridge Plaza to improve safety and ease traffic flow.
"Our current progress schedule will have the entire area fully reopened to traffic even sooner than the original December 2009 projected date," said MDOT Metro Region Engineer Greg Johnson. "We are in constant communication and coordination with the DIBC to ensure that the overall objectives and timeline of this project are fully met."
To date, MDOT has completed work on 1 mile of I-96 and 1 mile of I-75, along with 3 miles of new retaining and sound walls designed to minimize noise and enhance safety in neighborhoods adjacent to the freeway. Of the ramps and bridges impacted by the project, MDOT has removed four structures, replaced two and rehabilitated seven. Work on the remaining bridges and ramps are in progress and at various levels of completion.
In addition to continuing construction on the current phase of the project, MDOT is preparing for the final two phases which involve constructing approaches to the Bagley Avenue pedestrian bridge and landscape work within the entire project corridor. According to Johnson, these will be smaller contracts structured to encourage locally-owned businesses to participate in the bidding process that will take place later this year. For more information on these and other opportunities, call MDOT Metro Region Development Engineer Paige Williams at 248-483-5155.
"We want to thank the southwest Detroit community and our southeast Michigan motorists for their patience and cooperation as we continue to move forward", Johnson concluded. "At the end of the day, this project will help retain jobs, boost the state's $5 billion tourism industry and ensure that the Detroit-Windsor border remains the route of choice for the $115 billion in international trade that flows to and from the United States annually."
MDOT says: Remember - In Ice and Snow, Take It Slow!