The designs for I-375 are out! The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) just released six visions for Detroit's mile-long interstate, which needs to be entirely rebuilt one way or another. As a bonus, it looks like MDOT hopes to add a connection to the RiverWalk by plowing through GM's parking zone. (Those recent GM purchases don't seem so out-of-the-blue anymore, eh?)
Remember, these are not six rigid options, but six general ideas. Elements from one can be combined with another. MDOT will be hosting a question/feedback session this Thursday at Eastern Market. We're told to expect a decision on the final design by late summer/early fall.
↑ Alternative #1: Three Seventy Five Classic
Feel like I-375 just couldn't get any better? This plan rebuilds the freeway exactly as it was designed back in the 1950s.
Estimated Cost: $60-$70M
↑ Alternative #2: All You Concrete Buffet
This plan keeps the freeway intact and throws a bone to pedestrians, giving them bike paths, sidewalks, and lighting on service drives and bridges. A landscaped stormwater management system would be installed on either side of the main line. It also includes the riverfront connection, widening the road to Atwater Street.
Estimated Cost: $70-$80M (Most expensive)
↑ Alternative #3: Choose Your Own Path
Freeway transitions to a surface street at Larned. By the time it hits Jefferson, we'd have a normal, human-style intersection instead of the "Jefferson Curve" madness of today. A bike/pedestrian path would run the entire length, allowing direct travel from Gratiot to the river. The pedestrian path would be buffered from the freeway by terraced landscaping. The service drive on the downtown side would become a two-way street.
Estimated Cost: $55-65M
↑ Alternative #4: Buildable Boulevard
This plan ends the freeway at Clinton Street, making it a surface-level boulevard as early as possible. With four lanes in each direction, the boulevard is moved closer to Lafayette Park, losing the service drive entirely. On the downtown side, 9.3 acres of land is freed up for development along the boulevard and on Jefferson Avenue, right in front of the Renaissance Center.
Estimated Cost: $40-$50M (Cheapest-tied with #6)
↑ Alternative #5: Broadest Boulevard
Plan #5 moves the boulevard closer to downtown and gives it a two-way service drive. The result is three wide ribbons of asphalt separated by vast medians. The service drive offers bike lanes and sidewalks, but no shared use path.
Estimated Cost: $45-$55M
↑ Alternative #6: Deep V
This plan has a boulevard separated by a huge median, which would dip into a trail similar to the nearby Dequindre Cut. The space could be used for future development or made permanent.
Estimated Cost: $40-$50M (Cheapest-tied with #4)