Michigan transportation officials plan to announce that the $1 billion I-75 widening project in Oakland County, the first major road plan in the state to use a private investment model instead of state and federal money, could be completed up to 10 years sooner than planned.
The Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) 18-mile project to modernize the expressway between Hazel Park and Pontiac was part of a “pay as you go” plan designed to be financed entirely by public money.
Now that the state no longer needs to come up with the funds for rehabilitation, the work initially envisioned to last until 2030 could be done as soon as 2020.
By adopting a new design-build model, in which construction teams foot the cost of materials, construction and maintenance, officials expect to speed up the project. The first of eight segments was completed last month between South Boulevard in Bloomfield Township and Coolidge Highway in Troy. The South Boulevard-Coolidge Highway segment took 108 days to complete and cost $91 million, primarily from federal funds.
The private-funding model would likely result in larger work zones for motorists but fewer years to deal with construction.
Ninety percent of the costs for the I-75 project involve rebuilding and widening the freeway to four lanes in each direction along the 18-mile stretch that crosses several suburbs. The added lanes will be designated for high-occupancy vehicles during peak hours. About 170,000 vehicles use the interstate daily.
Source: The Detroit News