I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project



The I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project will guide a transformational project that proposes to reconnect the city of Detroit from the physical and emotional division created decades ago in the name of “urban renewal”. This project is led by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in partnership with the City of Detroit. The reconnecting communities project is to replace I-375 and the Gratiot Connector with a surface level boulevard and grid that creates a mobility vision prioritizing pedestrians in walkable connections.  

MDOT, alongside the boulevard project. is funding a City of Detroit community-centered framework to understand the opportunities and challenges of this endeavor. Working with the community surrounding the project area, and MDOT, we seek to address the challenges posed of the project itself, as well as understanding the fabric of community through capturing the cultural and historic ties of its being.  The framework will identify opportunities for growth and quality of life .  

While the project will be able to study the limits (envelope) of potential development on the developable parcels resulting from the boulevard design, it cannot address the disposition of land as part of the framework. The land is currently owned by the federal government as part of the interstate highway system. The State of Michigan and City of Detroit will work with the federal government to determine the guidelines governing the transfer of land. 

Zoning and Land-Use Study

The City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department (PDD) seeks proposals from qualified and experienced teams to provide professional services and technical assistance to complete an analysis and provide recommendations for a zoning and land use strategy in coordination with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) I-375 Reconnecting Communities project,  the Gratiot Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study, and other transportation and neighborhood planning initiatives.  This exercise is guided by principles of participatory planning, equitable and inclusive development, smart growth, and “actionable” vision and implementation.  This effort will supplement community engagement and urban design framework undertaken by MDOT with the advisement of the City of Detroit as part of the overall I-375 framework project. The purpose of the supplementary Zoning and Land-Use Framework is to ensure that economic and quality of life improvements occur within the I-375 project area to support the connected urban fabric, guide future growth and development as a truly reconnected community and be responsive to the city of Detroit zoning ordinances and legislative approvals process.  The City envisions a Detroit built on inclusionary growth, economic opportunity, trust, and a process that results in the creation of a cohesive policy guiding the vision for the City of Detroit, the reconnecting communities project, and residents within and surrounding the I-375 Reconnecting Communities project area. The study will be action-oriented and will result in a structure for sustainable equitable land-use, inclusive of its current and future residents, and setting the policy direction to support future growth an opportunity created by the MDOT project. 

Office of Contracting and Procurement RFP postings
COO Public Outreach Notice-I-375 Zoning and Land-Use
Past Meetings 
May 2, 2024 - Zoning and Land-Use Study COO Meeting
May 8, 2024 - Zoning and Land Use Study COO Meeting


Detroit Fall scene




I-375 Framework Questions
Email your comments, questions, or concerns:

[email protected]




project area i 375



I-375 is no longer needed, and the aging infrastructure requires costly maintenance. The interchange with I-75 and the connection to Gratiot and Eastern Market will be upgraded to maintain speed on I-75 and remove the bridges, which are outdated. Current and estimated future traffic volumes will be accounted for in the new design. The way downtown connects to neighborhoods – both east and west, as well as north and south – will be improved, and some elements of the former street grid will be redesigned back into the road network, where possible. Both pedestrians and vehicles will be taken into consideration in the new design. This new infrastructure will enhance access to future development and other placemaking opportunities on the redesigned road.


The project process will create space for necessary conversations about the past and the exchange of ideas about future opportunities. Community engagement will be crucial to the effort being a success.



The project will help us identify opportunities for engagement with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion that connects the city, honors its past and creates a future built on the needs and wants of those who call Detroit home.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project?

The II-375 Reconnecting Communities Project is a transformative highway project converting I-375 and the Fisher HWY (Gratiot Connector) into a surface road; and using the residual parcels created for future development and open space.  The surface boulevard replaces 3 outdated bridges spanning the highway and reconnects downtown to Lafayette Park and Eastern Market. The Michigan Department of Transportation, in partnership with the City of Detroit, will develop a framework on the highway, urban design and development, and opportunities centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion through an extensive community engagement process.

What is the purpose of this?

The project updates the poor condition of the current infrastructure, interchange design and outdated bridges. It accomodates all users for future transportation needs and roadway safety, improves vehicular and non-motorized connectivity to surrounding area and existing and planned transit services; and enhances access to future development and other placemaking opportunities.

When is the I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project scheduled to be constructed?

The construction is expected to start in 2025 and is expected to be completed in 2027.

What is the construction cost of the project?

The estimated construction cost of the project is $300 million with funding from federal and state sources.

Is there a final design already?

No there is not a final design. There is a conceptual design based on the placement (location) and capacity of the new boulevard to handle current and future traffic.

Was the community engaged on the conceptual design?

The communities immediately adjacent to I-375 were engaged in community meetings open to the general public, community stakeholder meetings, and living room chats from 2017 up to 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does the project take into account the history and the people of Black Bottom in how they were affected by the highway then?

The focus of the conceptual design was more on geometry and physical impacts to the surrounding area. The framework will capture the historic narrative and individual stories to honor and celebrate the past and connect to the future through the engagement process regarding I-375 and the impact it had on the Black Bottom, Paradise Valley, and other communities in the cause of its construction.

For the communities affected by the construction of I-375 boulevard conversion, will there be any mitigation of impacts?

The framework and engagment process will seek to responsibly address any construction impacts from I-375's construction to the extent we can. How we address any impacts will be in partnership with the federal government and State of Michigan.

What happens to the excess land created by the boulevard?

That cannot be decided until the final design is completed and the disposition is determined to understand what will be available. Development will be encouraged to have diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core principle in how the area is developed - from ownership, to contracting, to use. Community enhancements will be determined with community involvement and input as well. Discussions are underway with the federal government as to how the land disposition takes place (transferring land within federal and state regulations). Nothing has been pre-planned; and no decisions will be made until the transfer is better understood.

How may I give input to the I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project?

In addition to the Planning Department's website, check out the link above to the MDOT website for information on future community engagement events for I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project as well as more detailed information on the project itself.