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