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Diverging diamond interchange (DDI) selected for I-75/M-32 in Gaylord

GAYLORD, Mich. - Based on community input and engineering review, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has selected a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) design for the planned I-75/M-32 interchange rebuilding project in Gaylord.

Beginning in 2026, MDOT plans to replace the northbound and southbound I-75 bridges over M-32 in Gaylord and rebuild M-32 between Edelweiss Village Parkway/Meecher Road and Wisconsin Avenue. These bridges were built in 1961, are currently in poor condition, and need to be replaced. This provides an opportunity to consider alternatives for this interchange that provide safe and efficient movement of people and goods through the Gaylord area and accommodate future increased traffic.

"Choosing the DDI design was guided by our meetings with the public and local advisory committee members, as well as our design consultants," said Chelsea Kramer, cost and scheduling engineer for MDOT's Gaylord Transportation Service Center (TSC) and the interchange project manager. "This design had support from the community and provides the best balance of improvements to the movement of traffic, as well as safety and convenience for all users, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians."

A DDI is an alternative interchange that improves safety, increases traffic flow, and can reduce construction costs. They have been successfully implemented at several locations throughout Michigan in recent years, helping reduce crashes and congestion. 

To navigate a DDI, drivers follow signs, signals, and pavement markings to cross to the left side of the roadway after the first set of traffic signals. Vehicles going straight proceed through a second set of traffic signals and cross back to the right side of the road. All left turns onto the freeway are free flowing. MDOT has posted a video showing how drivers navigate the I-96/Cascade Road DDI in Grand Rapids Township, Kent County.

MDOT had considered three main options: replacing the current bridges generally in the current configuration but with other improvements at the interchange, a DDI, or a single-point urban interchange (SPUI). Information about DDIs and SPUIs is available on MDOT's website.

MDOT has created a project website with information about the I-75/M-32 interchange project.

The project is currently expected to begin in 2026 and be completed in 2027. Current estimates put the construction investment at $55 million.

MDOT will schedule a public meeting on the project when the DDI design is substantially complete, and another before construction begins to present a firmer schedule and plans to maintain traffic.

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