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MDOT opens the first phase of the Gateway project ahead of schedule
- MDOT is opening the Gateway project truck road five days ahead of schedule.
- Inbound commercial vehicles from Canada now have direct freeway access, keeping them off neighborhood streets.
- MDOT is aiming to complete the Gateway project by October.
May 15, 2012 -- Fulfilling the primary promise of the Gateway project in southwest Detroit, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today announced the opening of the two-lane truck road on the Ambassador Bridge Plaza. The opening, five days ahead of schedule, now provides direct freeway access to inbound commercial vehicles from Canada, eliminating the need for trucks to use neighborhood streets.
"Today, southwest Detroit can celebrate," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.
The opening of the truck road comes two months after Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Prentis Edwards directed the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) to cede control of their portion of the $230 million project and ordered MDOT to complete the remaining work. In the March 8, 2012, Opinion and Order issued by Judge Edwards, the DIBC was directed to deposit $16 million into an account to fund construction.
MDOT moved swiftly, pursuing a design-build process that was identified as the fastest way to complete the remaining work. The contract to complete the Gateway project was awarded on April 12. The removal of the controversial Pier 19 started on April 14, the paving of the truck road began May 1.
"To merely say I'm proud of the Gateway team's efforts doesn't do them justice," Steudle said. "It's simply amazing that two months after Judge Edwards' decision, truck traffic is using the plaza and not the local road system. There's still work to do, but I am confident that this team will continue with the same urgency to complete the remaining portion of the Gateway project."
MDOT continues to fully comply with the judge's order and complete the project as planned. This will include realigning access roads within the plaza leading to the Ambassador Bridge.
MDOT is working to have all the work completed by October.
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