Flint mayor proposes turning part of I-475 into a surface boulevard
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Part of I-475 in the city of Flint would cease to be a freeway and turn into a divided highway at the same level as the surrounding neighborhoods under a proposal resurrected by Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
He is hosting the first of several community input and visioning sessions online Wednesday evening to hear from the public about the idea.
"The city of Flint is hosting these input sessions because it is critically important for residents' voices to be heard. Under this administration community input comes first — before any concrete plans are made regarding future development of I-475,” Neeley said.
State funding is available to resurface part of I-475 through the Flint downtown area. Neeley is seeking input on a plan that would level the raised section of freeway through downtown, which would reconnect the central business district to adjacent neighborhoods.
He said the proposal is merely a concept and has not been studied enough to determine whether it is feasible. No firm plans have been developed to significantly change the freeway’s footprint. City officials want input on whether they should pursue the idea before the upcoming resurfacing project takes place.
“We do not yet know what, if any, options will be feasible, but we want to make sure we know residents' preferences as we move forward," Neeley said.
Wednesday’s online meeting will be streamed live on the city of Flint’s Facebook page and YouTube. A panel of community leaders will join the conversation with opinions and questions while a moderator poses questions on social media during the event.
More opportunities for community input on the proposal are being planned, Neeley said.
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