Detroiters will have a say in undoing I-375

An MDOT representative says “robust public involvement will mean citizens have a say” in what becomes of the space where I-375 sits now.

Northern end of Interstate 375 where it merges into Interstate 75 in Detroit.

Detroit — like so many cities across the U.S. — developed highways that pummeled through the homes and neighborhoods of African-Americans. Many of the time, it was actively against the pleas of African Americans living in these communities.

This is how Detroit came to gain I-375 and lost the neighborhood of Black Bottom. Now, Detroit, Michigan, and the federal government are working to undo I-375 and create something else in its place. Recently, the federal government gave the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) over $100 million to speed up this project.

“The advisory board that will be set up and getting all kinds of people — plain old folks in the neighborhood — to weigh in on what they want in that corridor going forward and what the economic development looks like, you know, those things didn’t go on in the 50s and 60s when freeways were being built,” — Jeff Cranson, MDOT communications director.


Listen: What undoing I-375 could mean for Detroiters.

 


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Jeff Cranson is the director of communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says the total construction dollars are at about $300 million, and that the designing of the space is happening now so construction can happen two years ahead of what was expected. He adds that Detroit residents will have a say in what happens to I-375.

“The advisory board that will be set up and getting all kinds of people — plain old folks in the neighborhood — to weigh in on what they want in that corridor going forward and what the economic development looks like, you know, those things didn’t go on in the 50s and 60s when freeways were being built,” says Cranson.

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