Public shares feedback on state's proposed change to I-69/I-75 interchange

Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 6:50 PM EST
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(12/11/2019) - Officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation welcomed the public to an informational meeting Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to the I-75 and I-69 interchange.

The process began in 2018 when officials researched different options for the interchange and now, a preferred alternative as emerged.

"Using collector distributor routes on both northbound and southbound I-75 to handle all the ramp traffic," said MDOT engineer Trevor Block.

He said officials took into account the public's concerns about the interchange, which included problems with congestion on the highways and merging to come up with the alternative.

The preferred alternative would allow for seamless traffic and two dedicated lanes to handle the ramp traffic on I-75 that would then merge back on to the road at a single point.

This work would happen along with a proposal to move I-75 traffic above I-69, instead of below like it is now.

"We are hoping we can take care of a lot problems that occur out there," Block said.

Limiting the amount of crashes that happen in the area is another reason for this alternative.

"Safety is definitely a big problem. It's part of what we are looking at," Block said. "A lot of the crashes that do occur through that area are a result of those short taper lanes, ability to get on or off the expressway."

Limiting crashes would allow officials to keep the lanes open near the interchange.

"We have a crash and then it's a safety concern and additionally it compounds to an operation problem where that causes a two lane closure to handle the crash," Block said. "And now we are left with one lane open and we get backups that are quite significant as well."

Any changes to the interchange will not take place for several more years. Block said that it would 2026 at the earliest before any construction begins.

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