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Northbound I-475 lanes to reopen to traffic Saturday, June 27

Fast facts:
- MDOT began rebuilding I-475 in Genesee County in August 2018.
- Southbound I-475 was built with a standard 20-year HMA pavement design and was opened to traffic in fall 2019.
- Northbound I-475 was built with a long-term 50-year HMA pavement design.

June 27 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will reopen northbound I-475 in Genesee County by 4 p.m. Saturday, June 27, following a $44 million investment to rebuild and repair nearly 18 miles of freeway.

MDOT started construction in August 2018 performing staging efforts with the bulk of construction occurring over the 2019 season. The project met numerous weather-related delays, including early freezing temperatures, which prevented final paving efforts due to temperature restrictions for hot-mix asphalt (HMA) paving. Work resumed in March with paving beginning in early May.

In 2015, a legislative directive was issued requiring a more extensive review of longer-term pavement designs and how they respond in Michigan climates. I-475 in Flint was selected as a site to test the different pavement designs. Southbound I-475 features the standard 20-year pavement design, while northbound I-475 was designed with deeper layers of pavement and aggregate and is intended to last a minimum of 50 years with proper maintenance.

"These longer-term pavement designs have a higher upfront cost," said Davison Transportation Service Center (TSC) Manager Steve Katenhus. "Unfortunately, we had to keep northbound I-475 closed through the winter and spring. With the project being part of a department-wide research initiative, we were not willing to push any boundaries and attempt paving outside of industry standards for HMA pavement."

I-475 services more than 25,000 vehicles a day and is likely to see heavy traffic during weekend travel throughout the summer.

"We know a closure this long is an inconvenient to residents and regular commuters," said Keith Brown, construction engineer for the Davison TSC. "We hope this makes commutes easier for people who live in the area and helps to alleviate congestion on I-75 during the weekends when we know traffic will be heavy."

Photo Caption: Paving on northbound I-475 in Flint resumed in early May. The pavement design features a longer-term pavement design, which includes deeper layers of pavement and aggregate.