4-year I-275 project starts July 6: What drivers need to know

24 miles of freeway involved in ‘Rebuilding Michigan’ project

I-275 project repair zones.
I-275 project repair zones. (MDOT)

If you use I-275 in Metro Detroit, you’re going to want to take note -- a massive construction project is kicking off Tuesday, and it’ll continue through 2024.

The Rebuilding Michigan program, which was announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in January 2020, authorized MDOT to issue $3.5 billion in bonds over four years to finance infrastructure improvements, under authority granted by the Michigan Constitution and Public Act 51 of 1951.

More: Michigan 2021 state highway road construction projects: Here’s what’s planned

One of the biggest projects in the program is the Revive 275 project, which will span four years, starting July 6th, running through 2024. The $270 million project includes repair of 65 bridges and 24 miles of freeway, from Will Carleton Road to Six Mile Road.

According to MDOT, I-275 is nearly 50 years old, and original concrete pavement has been paved over with asphalt. I-275′s bridges are also nearly 50 years old, and bridge surfaces, barriers, piers and beams all need repair work.

When and where will I-275 construction be going on?

The map below shows the rough timeline of the project, which is expected to begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6. The left image shows the full route of I-275 involved, and the right image shows how each portion will be involved by year.

I-275 project map. (MDOT)

The first portion of construction, this summer, will be from Will Carleton Road to Northline Road. Both sides of I-275 will undergo concrete pavement repairs, including interchanges. Nine bridges will be repaired.

Project scope breakdown by year

2021

  • I-275 (Will Carleton Road to Northline Road)
    • Repair 10 miles of concrete pavement
    • One lane of I-275 open in each direction
  • I-275 (Northline Road to Five Mile Road)
    • Culvert replacements and temporary pavement
    • Two lanes of I-275 open in each direction

2022

  • SB I-275 (Northline Road to Five Mile Road)
    • Rebuild 14 miles
    • Two lanes of I-275 open in each direction

2023

  • NB I-275 (Northline Road to M-14)
    • Rebuild 13 miles
    • Two lanes of I-275 open in each direction

2024

  • NB I-275 (M-14 to Five Mile Road)
    • Rebuild 1 mile
    • Two lanes of I-275 open in each direction

What about freeway closures?

There won’t be any full freeway closures in this project. I-275 won’t be detoured, either.

I-94 and I-96/M-14 interchanges will remain open, with occasional ramp detours. MDOT expects ramp closures at times, but rarely consecutively. Of course, expect slow downs and delays.

MDOT will be implementing a “split merge” from Northline Road to Five Mile Road during the first three years of the project. One direction of traffic will have a local lane and an express lane. Local lane will be used for ramp access.

MDOT split merge illustration. (MDOT)

Beginning July 6, Pennsylvania Road will be closed over I-275 in Romulus through late August. Traffic will be detoured to Sibley Road.

MDOT says the following lane restrictions will be in place from July 7-11:

  • The northbound I-275 ramp to Eureka Road (airport entrance) will be closed. Airport access will be available on eastbound I-94 via the Merriman Road exit.
  • The westbound Eureka Road ramp to northbound I-275 will be closed with traffic detoured via southbound I-275 and Sibley Road to northbound I-275.

MDOT says the following lane restrictions will be in place starting July 12:

  • The 5 Mile Road bridge over I-275 will be closed with traffic detoured to 6 Mile Road through late September.
  • The Eureka Road bridge over I-275 will have one lane open in each direction through late August.

Metro Trail work

If you bike the Metro Trail around I-275, there will also be repairs going on there, too. The retaining wall will be replaced, so parts of the trail will have closures. Signs will be posted.

MDOT will be posting updates on the I-275 project on the Revive 275 site right here, including meeting notices, if you’d like to share your thoughts.

Related: Whitmer reveals new way to track progress of Michigan road construction projects


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.