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Proposed I-375 Freeway Designs Released

A variety of proposals for I-375 in Detroit which could tweak - or even in some cases drastically change the well-traveled artery - have been released and are available for discussion.

The Detroit Downtown Development Authority has established a website with drawings of each of the proposals for public review, and an open house will be held Thursday at Detroit Eastern Market Shed 5, for the various plans for the roadway which cuts through a rapidly developing area of the city.

"At the first public meeting in February, over 150 people braved bitterly cold weather to give us their thoughts on what I-375 should look like in the future," said Will Tamminga, project director at Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, in a release. "Since then we have used community input along with technical data to explore feasible alternatives and create the designs that will be on display at Eastern Market.  We are very excited to hear more from the community about these options."

This is the second in a series of meetings being held by a variety of groups including the DDA, Michigan Department of Transportation and Detroit Riverfront Conservancy are collaborating to study design alternatives for the freeway from Gratiot Avenue to Atwater Street.

The open house, which will be held from 2 - 8 p.m. Thursday at Detroit Eastern Market Shed 5, 2934 Russell Street, will feature presentation stations, orientation with an overview about the purpose and need for the project.  Officials stated the orientation will be repeated every two hours at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday.

The six proposals include:

- Reconstruction of the main roadway, service drives and bridges,

- Improvements to ramps; add a riverfront connection from East Jefferson to Atwater with bike lanes and pedestrian improvements; bike lanes along the service drives and landscaped freeway slopes,

- Shift the reconstruction of freeway to the west; add a new retaining wall for the service drive; transition the expressway to a surface street at Larned; convert northbound service drive to a two-way local street with bike lanes and shared use bike-walk path between the new local street and freeway;

- Transition the freeway to a surface street at Clinton with the roadway shifted to the east; eliminate the southbound service drive and replace it with a new surface street and potential reuse of property along the westside of I-375,

- Reconstruct the freeway as a boulevard at Clinton; shift the roadway to the westside with potential property reuse along the east side of the corridor,

- Replace the freeway with two, one-way roadways at Clinton and locate it on the service drive; convert the current roadway to a multi-use trail and bike lanes on the roadways.

There will also be displays with additional designs for the I-75/I-375 interchange, portions of Gratiot Avenue and the Gratiot Connector, and Jefferson Avenue between Washington Boulevard and Joseph Campau Street.

A final recommendation for I-375 is expected to be announced between the end of summer 2014 and the beginning of fall 2014.

To view the proposals, visit the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. website.

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