Detroit To Downriver I-75 Closure

The two-year closure on I-75 has been underway since February 2017. The repairs come in light of a 50-year-old crumbling bridge over the Rouge River and will cost the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) up to $165 million. The Detroit News reports that the closure is 8 miles long down the southbound side from Springwells in Detroit to Northline in Southgate. MDOT expects to disrupt over 100,000 motorists a day until the project is completed in October 2018. 

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Rouge River Bridge

The bridge is stated to be in such disrepair that concrete has been seen falling from it and in certain spots the damage is visible through the deck. That is why The Detroit Free Press says that, "All 20 football fields' worth of concrete" is planned on being removed. MDOT plans to install electronic sensors, cameras, and message boards on the newly renovated bridge.

“The I-75 Rouge River bridge is vital to the flow of commerce and commuters in Southeast Michigan,” said Kirk Steudle, director of MDOT. “We know the bridge deck replacement will cause some inconvenience, but safety is our top priority, and this work will extend the life of this heavily traveled bridge..."

Alternative Routes

For those motorists who don't frequently travel on southbound I-75 or for those searching for alternative routes, MDOT has some suggestions:

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  • Local traffic is encouraged to take Fort Street or Jefferson Avenue since they run parallel to I-75. Other southbound streets that run parallel to I-75 are also a good option. 
  • Truckers are advised to take westbound I-96 to southbound I-275 and back to southbound I-75. 
  • Despite it not being the first choice due to already heavy traffic, drivers can take I-94 to I-275 or Telegraph Road.  
  • Drivers can also choose to head west on Northline Road in Southgate and merge onto I-75 from there or take Dixie Highway south.

No matter which route drivers chooses to take, they should remember that abiding by speed reduction signs and other construction signs are a must. Traffic fines in construction areas more common but they are usually doubled and come with a severe penalty. More importantly however, it's easy to get frustrated in backed up traffic, but road rage can lead to car accidents. Shaving five minutes off of drive time by honking, yelling, and cutting off other vehicles is not worth crashing your truck into a construction sign, getting stuck in a construction ditch, or rear ending someone who isn't moving fast enough through an active construction zone for your liking. Drivers are instead encouraged to leave earlier to get to their intended destinations if they are planning to drive through any areas affected by the closure.

The renovation to Rouge River Bridge has been a long time coming and will hopefully improve the flow of traffic and commerce within Michigan. While the bridge is under construction however, drivers should beware of both construction accidents and motor vehicle accidents, as both are common occurrences in the case of road construction. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident due to road rage or construction, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. We offer free consultations to help guide you on how best to handle your car accident. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM.  

Hamtramck, Michigan Residents Take Road Repairs Into Their Own Hands

Residents of Hamtramck, Michigan are taking road damage control into their own hands as the summer approaches and potholes become a bigger problem for the community. 2014 data shows that Michigan is near the top of the list for worst roads in the U.S: Almost 40% of Michigan roads can be considered to be in “poor shape”. According to a national study by the Associated Press, funding for roads in Michigan fell 8% from 2008 to 2013, so there is not enough money to go around, for these local side streets. 

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After purchasing 17 bags of cold patch, about 900 pounds worth, for about $120, residents of Lumpkin Street were able to repair the littered potholes. Lumpkin Street is just one of the mild cases of road damage in Hamtramck, as Charest Street alone has 33 different potholes. 

“We thought we’d just do this quietly,” resident Jonathan Weier told the Detroit Free Press. “There’s holes in the ground, and there’s no one filling them, so let’s fill them.”

The efforts of this self-made repair crew have not gone without notice, as they have garnered an interview from NPR’s “All Things Considered” show and gaining financial support through a GoFundMe page that raised $4,475. They have even received the support of Hamtramck’s mayor Karen Majewski. 

“It just speaks to me about the level of commitment to and affection for Hamtramck that residents here have. There’s such a strong sense of community spirit and a feeling that we’re all in it together. People here are willing to step up and do what they can to make the city work,” Majewski told MLive. 

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Tips for Avoiding Potholes: 

Here are some tips from the Michigan Department of Transportation on how to avoid rough patches during your commute: 

  • Be Vigilant: Potholes aren’t always easy to see, especially at night. Make sure that the vehicle’s headlights are working properly before getting on the road. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Tires should be properly inflated. Also, it is good to have suspensions and steering components inspected. 
  • If you have no way of avoiding the pothole, it is best to slow down and then release the brakes before you hit it. You should also straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through it. 
  • If you do hit a pothole, it’s important to inspect the vehicle for any damage that may have been done once you get out of the car. A properly maintained car can help avoid any further damage to the vehicle. 

If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident, including collisions caused by potholes or other types of road damage, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are very experienced in handling car accident cases, and will get you the help that you need. Call us, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.