Business owners, residents, and commuters affected by a potential transformation of I-375 were joined by the otherwise curious Thursday evening, Feb. 13, as the Downtown Development Authority
hosted the first of three public meetings. A crowd gathered at Stroh River Place in an open house setting as the DDA and their partners in the study, the Michigan Department of Transportation
and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
, guided visitors through a series of informative stations.
Each station provided data regarding project study areas, ranging from cost estimations to current vehicular usage. One station had a map of the area and visitors were asked to place stickers at the points where they felt unsafe as pedestrians. Another map asked visitors to place stickers at places they thought to be aesthetically unpleasing. Visitors were asked, too, of their overall opinion of I-375 and whether think it should remain an expressway or be transformed for a different use.
The I-375 Alternatives Study
is a result of the impending reconstruction of I-375. Current estimates place reconstruction costs at $80 million. MDOT has enlisted the help of area stakeholders to determine whether the land in question could be utilized in a more effective way, such as demolishing the below-grade expressway and transforming it into a street-level boulevard.
Taking into account the information gathered from Thursday's public forum, the group behind the study will craft a number of alternative developments for the project areas. Five alternatives will be crafted for the primary study area, the nearly one-mile stretch of I-375. Two alternatives will be crafted for each of the secondary study areas, the I-75/I-375/Gratiot interchange and the I-375/Jefferson interchange. These alternatives will be presented to the public at a later date this spring.
I-375 was built in 1964.
Source: I-375 Alternatives Study public meeting, Feb. 13, 2014
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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