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I-475 Corridor Project

MDOT has completed the I-475 PEL study and is rebuilding eight miles of I-475 from Bristol Road to Carpenter Road. 

Learn more about the I-475 Project and the I-475 PEL Study.

  • As part of the Rebuilding Michigan Bond Program, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) committed $300 million to rebuild 8 miles of I-475 and undertook the PEL study to evaluate options, which are called alternatives. The PEL study evaluated alternatives that best met the project’s purpose and need statement and community goals.

  • A PEL study is a collaborative approach to transportation decision-making. The study looks at the transportation, environmental, community, and economic goals early in planning. Information from the planning phase is used to inform the environmental review process, minimizing repeat work, and allowing a project to move more efficiently through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

  • The Rebuilding Michigan program’s (2020-2024) objective is to rebuild the state highways and bridges critical to the state’s economy and carrying the most traffic. The investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer, useful lives and improve the condition of the state’s infrastructure.

  • The purpose of this project is to identify a transportation alternative that will:

    • Address the deteriorated conditions of the highway system's infrastructure.
    • Prioritize the safe movement of people, including transit and modes of active transportation, such as walking and bicycling.
    • Connect neighborhoods with cultural, institutional, and commercial activity centers.
    • Support more economic development opportunities.
    • Deteriorated bridge and road conditions, some of which are nearing 50 years of age.
      • In the project study limits, there are 59 total bridges on or intersecting I-475, 43 (76.3 percent) of which are rated fair, with the remainder rated poor (15.3 percent) or good (8.5 percent).
    • Right-size infrastructure to match need and declining population. Right-size is the process of modifying infrastructure to better reflect current or future needs.
      • As of April 2020, Genesee County had 406,211 residents, down from 425,790 in 2010, a decrease of 4.6 percent.
    • Lack of safe, direct east-west vehicular and active transportation connections.
      • Connections were severed by the construction of I-475, which changed the street grid and affected connectivity and accessibility. As a result, it can be difficult to access activity centers safely, particularly using modes of active transportation.
  • The study area will span the entire I-475 corridor from the southern I-75 interchange in Grand Blanc Township to the northern I-75 interchange near Mt. Morris Township.

  • Throughout the process, MDOT engaged with the public, including residents, commuters, and local businesses in the study area. Public feedback was gathered through community engagement meetings to identify needs, collect data, and develop strategies and alternative options for the final report. MDOT actively encouraged attendees to submit comments. A local advisory council (LAC) made up of residents, stakeholders, and organizers in the community, as well as a business advisory Council (BAC) made up of local businesses in the study area, were formed. MDOT also coordinated with local, state, and federal agencies.

  • The outcome of the PEL study will result in alternatives for the I-475 corridor that reflect the vision and values of the greater Flint community.

  • Rebuilding I-475 from Bristol Road to Thread Creek, from the Flint River to Carpenter Road, and from Thread Creek to the Flint River is included in MDOT’s draft 2023-2027 Five Year Transportation Program and is funded by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan bond program. The original budget of Rebuilding Michigan program funds for roadway improvements was based on rebuilding I-475 in the same configuration as the existing freeway. This $300 million investment project has supported almost 4,000 jobs.

    Most road and bridge projects receive funding from a combination of state and federal sources, and the eligibility and split depend on whether the structure is local, state or federally owned, as well as the type of project. Both state and federal sources come primarily from their respective taxes on fuel. At the same time, the State of Michigan also uses vehicle registration fees, income taxes, and supplemental appropriations from the Legislature. Overall, on average, federal highway funding makes up a little less than 30 percent of MDOT’s budget. For more information on other funding sources and uses, please visit MDOT's Transportation Funding page.

  • Traffic delays are expected. MDOT will provide updates on Mi Drive to help drivers navigate construction delays. Sign up online to receive project updates by subscribing to MDOT traffic e-mails.

  • During the PEL process, public feedback requested a potential deck park, called a freeway cap, between 2nd and 3rd streets. The potential cap is a future improvement that can be built when agreements are solidified and funds are identified and programmed. The cap is not included in the current construction plans or grant applications, as the details of the design, construction, and implementation of the cap need to be agreed upon by MDOT, the City of Flint, and any third-party partners before beginning this work.

  • Enhanced crossings, referred to as “stitches” or “mini caps,” provide additional bridge width over the freeway on cross streets. They create space for enhanced active transportation facilities and improved connectivity. Caps give a more significant connection, covering the freeway with open space, recreational uses, or other amenities to connect the community across the freeway.