Plans in the works to change I-375 in downtown Detroit

Plans in the works to change I-375 in downtown Detroit

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Your drive to Detroit could be changing.

Six different plans are in the works to re-develop or possibly eliminate Interstate 375.

"You range all the way through these various options that essentially elevate the road to surface just below Gratiot Avenue at Clinton Street, these three, and then this one here essentially splits the road as a giant boulevard with a potential opportunity for a non-motorized pathway down the center," explains Will Tamminga of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

Interstate 375 is one of the primary access points to downtown Detroit, entertainment venues, historic neighborhoods and the east riverfront.

Experts say the existing freeway and bridges are in need of repair, and traffic and safety issues could be addressed by making some changes.

"Redesigning, or planning for a brand new concept for I-375, if we do it successfully we'll enable people to access these areas and for development to occur," says Tamminga.

The price tag for the various plans ranges from 40 million to 80 million dollars. Right now, no one's sure where that money will come from but MDOT will be involved in figuring that out.

"Part of what we're looking at is opportunities for innovative financing; are there some public private partnership opportunities here that may be able to help?" says consultant Scott Shogan.

The project has no specific timetable. These changes are a few years down the road so the public has time to weigh in and get involved in helping plan the freeway's future.

People can ask questions and comment on the plans this Thursday, June 12, from 2-8 p.m. at Eastern Market Shed 5 on Russell Street. You can also take a closer look at the designs.

After that the proposals will be narrowed down to two choices.

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