Southbound I-75 closure Downriver begins Feb. 4

Detour expected to last almost 2 years

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

Amanda Little of Taylor said her commute home is going to be a bit longer as of Saturday when I-75 closes for nearly two years.

“So many people are upset about this,” Little said. “There are many residents in the Downriver area that work in Detroit and rely on I-75 to get home.”

Little, who works at a downtown dental clinic said she has been mapping alternate ways home since the closure announcement.

“It’s just, wow, two years?” Little said.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, the extensive closure is due to the amount of work the road needs.

The work will focus on southbound lanes the first season and then move to northbound lanes after that. Messages will be posted as work happens, according to MDOT.

As of 7 a.m. Feb. 4, southbound I-75 will close until November 2018. Southbound traffic will be detoured onto westbound I-96 to southbound 275 to southbound I-75 near Monroe. Traffic from eastbound I-96 and M-10 will be maintained to the Ambassador Bridge as well as the Springwells exit. Traffic that exits at Springwells will be detoured south on Fort Street to southbound I-75.

Southbound ramps closed as of Feb. 4 are: Vernor, Clark, Dragoon, Springwells, Schaefer, Dearborn Avenue, Outer Drive, Southfield Freeway, and Dix Highway in Lincoln Park. The ramp from northbound Fort Street to northbound I-75 also will be closed.

“I know the work needed to happen, but this is going to be a cluster …,” said Brian Ley of Melvindale. “I’ve been searching alternate routes, and each add significant time to my commute to West Bloomfield.”

Ley said this may also diminish the amount of people who go Downriver for events and shopping.

“I suspect this is going to hurt more than just the commuters,” Ley said.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)