September 19, 2017 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has decided to engage private partners to help build a world class freeway that includes a new drainage system on a 5.5-mile section on the I-75 Modernization Project in Oakland County. This includes leveraging both local and national expertise, construction innovation, private financing, and long-term maintenance. Using this alternative approach is expected to reduce the construction schedule to limit the long-term inconvenience to the motoring public and achieve full economic benefit of this infrastructure modernization sooner.
The I-75 Modernization Project is reconstructing and modernizing 18 miles of freeway between 8 Mile Road and South Boulevard that was built in the 1960s. Original plans called for eight construction segments spanning 17 years due to limited funding availability. The first segment between Coolidge Highway and South Boulevard was completed this month.
MDOT will now be able to deliver this project beyond what it could do with its limited funds by moving forward with a design, build, finance, and maintain (DBFM) method on the stretch between 8 Mile and 13 Mile roads in the communities of Hazel Park, Madison Heights, and Royal Oak. This method of delivery was selected because of its ability to accomplish all the necessary work and transfer more risk to the private sector for long-term maintenance once the project is completed. The selected team is given annual payments based on detailed conditions and performance of infrastructure to protect taxpayer investment.
Further north, MDOT will utilize a design-build contract to expedite construction on the section from Coolidge Highway to 13 Mile Road. This innovative contracting will result in the reduction of the remaining construction segments from eight to two, and could potentially shave 10 years off the original schedule.
For the remaining two segments, MDOT will begin issuing requests for qualifications this fall for teams interested in partnering and constructing this project. The department expects to select the winning teams in summer and fall 2018. At that time, a detailed construction schedule will be developed.