For almost 20 years, plans have been in the works for modernizing I-75 in Michigan, a well-travelled freeway built in the 60’s, encompassing approximately 18 miles of the freeway. Beginning at M-102 to south of M-59, the road experiences traffic volumes of 103 to 174 thousand daily. It is projected to allow for decreased congestion during travel time as much as improving the infrastructure of the existing road.
The fact that it’s considered such a critical structure and route is boasted by its number of commuters. It’s uses vary from local travel, commercial and freight use, and a local business route. The proposed improvements will ease congestion and positively modify safety, reliability and efficiency overall.
Many commuters have long-noted the deteriorating condition of the existing road, the gridlock experienced specifically around rush hour, and the need for improvement and are hopeful that these modifications will amend these key issues.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), improvements are to include the following: “reconstructing the freeway, adding a lane to increase capacity with a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane that would operate as such, only in the peak hours of travel, bridge replacement, upgraded road design, interchange improvements at 12 Mile Road, 14 Mile Road and the Square Lake Road Business Loop, ramp enhancements at M-102 and I-696 and a new drainage system for the corridor.”
They will be including a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane to the far left to the three existing lanes that requires a minimum of two or more passengers during peak travel time (weekdays 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm). New carpool lots will be developed while existing carpool lots will be enhanced. All road and pedestrian bridges will be replaced while new drainage systems will be constructed. Asked in a forum was a question regarding the drainage system issue at Squirrel Road and if MDOT planned on addressing it and how, to which it was made known that they intended to construct a whole new system to handle was and drainage more efficiently.
The projects schedule is as follows (as described in official public documents):
- 2016: from north of Coolidge Hwy to north of South Boulevard.
- 2018: from north of I-696 to south of 12 Mile Road.
- 2020: from north of Wattles Road to north of Coolidge Hwy.
- 2022: from north of Rochester Road to north of Wattles Road.
- 2024: from north of 13 Mile Road to north of Rochester Road.
- 2026: from south of 12 Mile Road to north of 13 Mile Road.
- 2028: from north of 9 Mile Road to I-696.
- 2030: from north of M-102 to north of 9 Mile Road.