MDOT officials lay out I-75 plan

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 20, 2019

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Motorists will grapple with traffic delays caused by road construction relatively soon as crews resume work on the Interstate 75 modernization project next month.

Michigan Department of Transportation Senior Project Manager Sue Datta and Dennis Cooper, an MDOT construction engineer, laid out plans for the second phase of the freeway modernization — the 8-mile segment that winds through Troy — at the Feb. 11 Troy City Council meeting. 

“It’s a mega project, 20 years in planning and development,” Datta said. 

She said the project was originally planned to take place in nine segments, but that was scaled back to three. 

The $224 million second phase of the project will reconstruct 20 bridges and will add a high-occupancy vehicle, or carpool, lane, which Datta said will be in effect 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. weekdays, with three enforcement zones in Troy. 

Carpool parking lots will be constructed at 12 Mile Road and Adams Road, she said. 

Interchanges will also be reconfigured. 

Cooper said that in the beginning of March, crews will begin prep work on the southbound lanes. 

Traffic will be diverted to southbound lanes when the work to replace the concrete begins on the northbound lanes in mid-to-late March. 

Cooper said that two of the four exit ramps along the 8-mile stretch — at Corporate Drive, 14 Mile Road, Big Beaver Road and Rochester Road — will remain open during construction. 

Two entrance ramps, the one at 12 Mile Road and the one at Corporate Drive, will remain open during the work. 

Work on the northbound lanes is slated to be finished in late November. Both sides of the freeway will be open during the winter months until work begins on the southbound lanes and traffic is diverted to the newly constructed northbound lanes in 2020. 

Final pavement markings for the 8-mile segment through Troy will be finished in 2021, Cooper said. 

The $127 million first phase of the project — the addition of one lane to northbound and southbound I-75, covering 3 miles of the freeway between South Boulevard and Coolidge Highway through Bloomfield Township, Auburn Hills and Troy — began in August 2016. The project’s first phase of construction replaced five bridges, reconfigured the interchange at Square Lake Road and made improvements to the Adams Road carpool lot. 

That work was completed in 2017.

Cooper said the freeway construction for phase two will impact surface traffic on Big Beaver Road, but two lanes of traffic will be maintained each way. 

Troy City Engineer Bill Huotari said the city has contacted the Road Commission for Oakland County for retimed traffic lights to help with traffic congestion. 

Huotari told the council that traffic backups are likely to occur south of 13 Mile Road and north of Coolidge Highway. 

Huotari said that the city of Troy will try to limit any road construction on major city roads to keep traffic as free and clear as possible while the I-75 project is ongoing. 

Cooper said the new concrete should last for 25-30 years. 

Work on the third and final phase, from 13 Mile Road to Eight Mile Road, is scheduled to start this fall. The anticipated completion date is fall 2023.

MDOT awarded the $224 million second phase of the I-75 modernization project to Walsh-Toebe Construction. Federal funding covers about 80 percent of the costs. 

That stretch of freeway carries up to 174,000 vehicles per day. 

For updates on the construction project, visit www.modernize75.com

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