I-75 Traffic Shift In Oakland County Delayed Until Late December

WWJ News
November 20, 2019 - 10:05 am

(WWJ) - The next phase of a major construction project to modernize I-75 in Oakland County has been pushed back a couple weeks. 

It was supposed to happen next week. But due to weather delays and additional work, MDOT says switching northbound I-75 traffic to new pavement has been delayed until late December.

Currently, both directions of I-75 are sharing the southbound side of the freeway, separated by a temporary concrete barrier between 13 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway. Two lanes are open in each direction. Originally, the traffic switch to place northbound traffic on the newly constructed northbound lanes was to occur by Thanksgiving.

MDOT says the delay is primarily due to lost production caused by an abnormally wet spring, heavy rain events during the summer, extreme temperatures and a record snowfall in November. Since March 1, crews have lost roughly 60 days of production due to adverse weather. 

"This delay is not due to lack of effort," Sue Datta, MDOT senior project manager, said in a statement. "On average, between contractors, laborers and MDOT personnel, we had close to 200 people working on this job daily in various areas over the 9-mile work zone. No other project compares in complexity and scope to this complete infrastructure replacement."

Before northbound traffic can be switched over, crews need to complete ramp work and some mainline paving.

During the winter months, crews will be working on a sound wall near Wattles Road on northbound I-75 that was not included in the original contract. This will result in a single-lane closure on northbound I-75 from Big Beaver to Wattles roads during the winter months. Crews will also begin prep work for the reconstruction of the southbound lanes in 2020.

This $224 million project involves reconstructing more than eight miles of pavement in each direction, improving 18 structures, upgrading drainage, constructing community-developed aesthetics and federally approved noise walls, and continuing construction of an additional travel lane between Coolidge Highway and 13 Mile Road.

Get the latest updates on the I-75 modernization progress at Modernize75.com.