Massive I-275 construction project begins: ‘Oh, this is going be a nightmare’

$270 million project will repair 65 bridges, 24 miles of freeway from Will Carleton Road to Six Mile Road

Massive I-275 construction project underway

DETROIT – A massive I-275 construction project got started this week, prompting a cloud of concern for drivers across Metro Detroit.

The $270 million project will repair 65 bridges and 24 miles of freeway from Will Carleton Road to Six Mile Road. Drivers are worried this will create a ripple of traffic delays across the region.

“Oh, this is going be a nightmare,” said one woman.

“It’s already hard enough during rush hour, take it down to one lane and it is going to be four times worse, literally,” said another man.

They both work early morning shifts and are dreading their drives home.

“I go to work at 4 a.m. but getting off in the afternoon, it is going to be a nightmare,” the woman said.

They believe not only is the freeway going to be backed up now, but also backroads.

“We don’t have very many of those very often, it is one of the biggest we’ve done in the state,” said Diane Cross with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Project phases

The project will happen in phases. This year only one lane of I-275 will be open in either direction from Will Carleton Road to Northline Road. Over the summer nine bridges, concrete pavement and interchanges will be repaired on both sides.

“We started pulling the barrels out at 6 a.m. this morning in the very early days. It’s always frustrating a lot of brake riding angry people trying to merge so give yourself a lot of extra time,” said Cross.

MDOT said I-275 is nearly 50-years-old and repairs were needed on bridge surfaces, barriers, piers and beams.

That means drivers will be looking for detours through 2024.

View: Live Traffic Map

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.