A major construction project on I-75 began Monday in Oakland County and it’s going to slow down your morning and evening commute.
The 16-year project will modernize 18 miles of I-75 and reconstruct 47 bridges with the first phase costing $90 million.
“You’re looking at a deteriorating road surface, you’re looking at bridges that are over 50-years-old that carry an enormous amount of traffic that need to be replaced,” MDOT Spokesperson Rob Morosi said.
It comes as more than 100,000 of us travel I-75 in Oakland County every day.
“The charge in (20)16 is to rebuild the northbound side starting at Coolidge heading all the way up to square lake and then in (20)17 we’ll wrap it up on the southbound side,” Morosi said.
It’s going to take I-75 down to two lanes in either direction for the rest of the year from Coolidge to M-59. This project comes with the promise of bringing a new concept to the area- additional HOV lanes reserved for two or more people, designed to promote carpooling.
“The inclusion of a HOV lane in either direction will not only help with congestion, it will be the first HOV freeway lane we’ll have in the State of Michigan,” Morosi said.
The 16-year project will be done in eight sections, this first three-mile stretch of construction comes with a $90 million dollar price tag with 80 percent of the cost covered by the feds. MDOT says it’s well worth it, labeling this one of the deadliest stretches of road in the state.
“When this was built we didn’t have the traffic volumes we have today,” Morosi said.
Taking its toll on the 47 bridges along I-75 in Oakland County that are beyond the point of being repaired- all set to be replaced.
“What we spend maintenance wise to keep this stretch of the road open- we’ve gotten to the point now where there’s no other choices,” Morosi said.
Phase one is expected to last until December so as you’re planning your route and preparing for back to school – Telegraph and Woodward are good alternate routes.