Michigan DOT Set to Launch $1 Billion Highway Widening Project

The Michigan Department of Transportation will start a $1 billion, 14-year construction project later this year, on I-75, north of Detroit. Some community members are still wondering if the project is necessary.
February 25, 2016, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Eric. D. Lawrence reports on the looming plans to widen the I-75 freeway outside of Detroit. "The project will modernize interchanges, replace all vehicle and pedestrian bridges and add a lane north and south to be used for carpooling during rush hour and regular traffic at other times," according to Lawrence.

Much of the focus of the article is devoted to the lingering questions about the wisdom of the 14-year, $1 billion project:

The initial reaction to the project has been mixed. Some are pleased that a major highway with obvious signs of wear and tear over the past five decades is finally getting rebuilt. Others suggest widening the more than 17-mile route from Auburn Hills to Hazel Park is an outdated approach to regional planning that would divert attention and resources from public transit.

The article includes soundbites from opponents to the project as well as the Michigan Department of Transportation. The latter insists the project is a "fix-it-first" project. Lawrence also devotes attention to the construction schedule, which splits the project into eight separate sections, and the funding allocations. The federal government is funding 80 percent of the final bill for the project. But most of the article's in-depth coverage details the political conversation occurring in response to the project.

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Published on Thursday, February 25, 2016 in Detroit Free Press
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