The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced a $1 billion, 20-year project to add two lanes along 17 miles of I-75 to better accommodate the 120,000 vehicles that use it each day.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson endorsed the move, saying it would improve commerce and reduce congestion, and noted the state's DOT is also investigating making the route a connected highway.
Construction on the first $127 million phase will widen I-75 between South Boulevard and Coolidge Highway, MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said. The project likely will finish in late fall 2017.
The entire project between Eight Mile and M-59 is expected to last about 20 years, Morosi said.
According to MDOT, the widening is part of a broader project that includes rebuilding five bridges and reconfiguring the interchange at Square Lake Road.
Patterson also said MDOT is researching the possibility of making the I-75 corridor a connected freeway, enabling automobiles to connect with infrastructure along the route. Auto companies and suppliers, for example, could use the technology to advance connected vehicle programs, Patterson said.