MDOT could speed I-75 widening in Oakland County by 10 years

- The Michigan Department of Transportation announced on Monday that it could get the I-75 widening project done 10 years early.

MDOT says they are using a long-term strategy that limits the inconvenience to drivers along the 18-mile stretch of highway. MDOT says the new method will decrease the amount of time on the project by ten years by using private money to fund the project.

The department typically pays for projects as new tax money is collected. For that reason, the project was slated to take 14 years to complete.

Instead, construction companies will put  up their own money so they can buy materials in bulk, machinery, and other equipment. The state then pays the companies back over a period of time from taxes.

This will get the project done much faster but it comes with a drawback: the constructions zones will be much longer.

RELATED 14-year project starts to widen I-75

Overall, the cost of the roughly 18-mile project is expected to top $1 billion. The roadway from 8 Mile all the way up to M-59 will be widened.

Original plans called for the construction of eight segments over the 17 years. One segment, between Coolidge and 13 Mile, was completed this summer and reopened earlier this month.

The new plan would reduce the number of sections to two and could have 10 years off the schedule.

MDOT says it expects to select a construction team by the summer or fall of 2018. At that point, a new construction schedule will be developed and released.

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