I-75 Corridor Project
The I-75 widening and reconstruction project has been in the planning and development stages for nearly 20 years. It encompasses approximately 18 miles of freeway from M-102 to south of M-59 and has a current daily traffic volume of 103,000 to 174,000. The freeway was built in the 1960s but has not received comprehensive corridor improvements since that time. The need for increased capacity to relieve congestion is driven by the growth along the corridor due to land use changes and the migration of people, services and industry. It is a critical commercial route, a key commuter route, a vital tourist route and a local area business route moving people and goods across the state daily.
Proposed corridor improvements will ease traffic congestion, meet travel demand for personal mobility and movement of freight, while allowing for future traffic and commercial needs for the entire region. It will also improve motorist safety, reliability and efficiency.
In 1991, a county corridor study projected future roadway needs, improvements and costs. This was based on the current condition, expected future growth and the use of land use planning tools to mitigate impacts, but largely in response to the rapid growth occurring along the I-75 corridor. A feasibility study identifying the corridor problems and offering broad solutions concluded in 2000. The next, environmental phase of study advanced the analysis by providing detailed information regarding the impacts as a result of the proposed improvements. This study concluded in 2006 with formal federal project approval. Engineering reports to further refine the selected and approved set of improvements was completed in 2010.
Improvements include: 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.
Stakeholders have been engaged through the many phases of study. During the early phases, local advisory groups were established that helped guide the study. These groups were compromised of local municipalities, businesses, residents, and anyone that was affected or interested in participating. General public information meetings, targeted small group meetings, informal one-on-one meetings and a formal public hearing were all conducted. A project website, dedicated e-mail address and toll-free telephone number were also used to involve and be more accessible. As the project advances from studying into designing and constructing, additional opportunities and meetings will be held to collaborate on corridor features, the maintenance of traffic during construction and construction activities itself.