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 The surface boulevard replaces 3 outdated bridges spanning the highway and reconnects downtown to Lafayette Park and Eastern Market.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.
The project updates the poor condition of the current infrastructure, interchange design and outdated bridges.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.
The construction is expected to start in 2025 and is expected to be completed in 2027.
The estimated construction cost of the project is $300 million with funding from federal and state sources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.