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2019 milestone for segment 2 of the I-75 modernization project in Oakland County delayed until late December

Fast facts:
- Segment 2 of the I-75 modernization project involves reconstructing 8.5 miles of pavement in each direction and improving 18 bridges over a two-year period.
- The 2019 work focused on rebuilding the northbound lanes and replacing 11 bridges from 13 Mile Road to Coolidge Highway
- Due to weather delays, the opening of the northbound lanes is expected to occur in late December.  

November 20, 2019 -- Due to weather delays and additional work added to the original contract, switching northbound I-75 traffic to its pre-construction configuration has been delayed until late December. Currently, both directions of I-75 are sharing the southbound side of the freeway, separated by a temporary concrete barrier between 13 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway. Two lanes are open in each direction. Originally, the traffic switch to place northbound traffic on the newly constructed northbound lanes was to occur by Thanksgiving.

The delay is primarily due to lost production caused by an abnormally wet spring, heavy rain events during the summer, extreme temperatures, and a record snowfall in November. The process to move northbound traffic onto the northbound lanes and opening additional lanes will be completed in stages starting this month.

"This delay is not due to lack of effort," said Sue Datta, MDOT senior project manager for segment 2 of the I-75 modernization project. "On average, between contractors, laborers and MDOT personnel, we had close to 200 people working on this job daily in various areas over the 9-mile work zone. No other project compares in complexity and scope to this complete infrastructure replacement."

Since March 1, crews have lost roughly 60 days of production due to adverse weather. Before northbound traffic can be switched over, crews need to complete ramp work and some mainline paving.    

During the winter months, crews will be working on a sound wall near Wattles Road on northbound I-75 that was not included in the original contract. This will result in a single-lane closure on northbound I-75 from Big Beaver to Wattles roads during the winter months. Crews will also begin prep work for the reconstruction of the southbound lanes in 2020.

This $224 million project involves reconstructing more than 8 miles of pavement in each direction, improving 18 structures, upgrading drainage, constructing community-developed aesthetics and federally approved noise walls, and continuing construction of an additional travel lane between Coolidge Highway and 13 Mile Road.  

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