Public Invited to Help Rethink Detroit’s I-375 Freeway

02/03/2014

Since 1964 the I-375 freeway has been one of the primary access points into Downtown Detroit.  But a great deal has changed since the one mile-long business spur was constructed -- from the construction of new entertainment venues to the revitalization of the historic Riverfront.

It is with this in mind that the Downtown Detroit Development Authority (DDA), Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are asking the public:  Do you think that I-375 as currently configured is still the best gateway into Downtown Detroit, or can it be improved to better meet the city’s needs now and in the future?

On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, the public is invited to a community meeting to help determine possible alternatives for reimagining the I-375 freeway.   The meeting will be held at the Stroh RiverPlace South Atrium, 300 River Place Drive, Detroit, MI 48207.  The facility is handicapped accessible and free parking is available both on-street and in the RiverPlace lot, courtesy of Stroh RiverPlace (see map). For special needs, or an accessible format version of the meeting invitation, please contact Will Tamminga at (313) 963-2940 five days prior to the meeting.

Please arrive at any time between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as there will be no formal presentation.  The meeting will follow an open house format with the opportunity for those attending to view a series of informational exhibits, speak with transportation and urban design experts, and most importantly, give their thoughts and ideas for redeveloping I-375.  Exhibits will include illustrative examples of how other cities have transformed urban freeways to better suit community needs. The goal of the meeting will be to help to establish the purpose and need for undertaking improvements to the corridor, and for the community to help to prioritize goals for such improvements.

This is the first of three public meetings that will be held as part of the I-375 Alternatives Study, a seven month-long effort to develop possible alternatives for recreating the I-375 corridor.  The primary project study area extends along I-375 from Gratiot Avenue to Atwater Street.  Additional study areas include the I-75/I-375 interchange, portions of Gratiot Avenue and the Gratiot Connector, and Jefferson Avenue between Washington Boulevard and Joseph Campau Street.

The alternatives evaluation process will address a number of issues including defining a vibrant entryway into Downtown Detroit and the East Riverfront; making better connections to the Entertainment, East Riverfront, Greektown, Stadium, Convention Center, and Eastern Market districts and improving pedestrian, non-motorized and transit connectivity.  The study’s final report would also detail whether there are environmentally and economically beneficial ways to adapt and reuse the below-grade roadway.

More information about the I-375 Alternatives Study can be found at the project website at www.I375Detroit.com. In addition, a project e-mail address is available to sign up for future correspondence on the I-375 Alternatives Study or to submit comments if you are unable to attend the public meeting.  Please contact us at I375detroit@degc.org.