FLINT — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be tackling another major freeway project on I-69 this spring, while also planning for future work on I-475 in the coming years.
Starting in April, MDOT will begin a rebuild of I-69 between Dort Highway and Fenton Road to redo pavement along the roadway and upgrade bridges and ramps along the I-69/I-475 interchange. MDOT is scheduled to reconstruct the westbound stretch of I-69 this year and focus on rebuilding the eastbound section in 2022.
MDOT Construction Engineer Keith Brown said that crews will be ripping up concrete on westbound I-69 and replacing drainage gutters in the spring and summer before repaving the roadway later this year.
“The pavement on that stretch of I-69 has reached its surface life and we’re constantly repairing it,” he said. “The shoulders aren’t very wide and are in pretty rough shape as well. With the rebuild, we’ll have all new pavement, which means better driving conditions for motorists.”
Trevor Block, MDOT Bay Region Engineer, said that the project will also redo some of the curving lanes on westbound and eastbound I-69 through the I-475 interchange to improve traffic safety.
“The tight curves can be difficult for drivers to navigate during rainy or slippery conditions, especially if they’re driving at excessive speeds,” he said. “We want to correct those curves so that drivers can get better traction and not slide into other lanes of traffic.”
MDOT’s other construction goals for I-69 in 2021 include reducing the 8th and 9th street ramps off Saginaw Street from three lanes to two lanes; working on the I-475 ramp entrance from westbound I-69; and replacing decks on several bridges along the I-69/I-475 interchange. Potholes will also be fixed on the eastbound lanes of I-69 from Dort Highway to Fenton Road.
MDOT is aiming to wrap up construction on westbound I-69 in early November and will use traffic shifts to keep two lanes of the roadway open in both directions while the project continues.
In the coming years, MDOT is also preparing for rebuilds of I-475 between Bristol Road to Thread Creek and the Flint River to Carpenter Road. Construction will consist of repaving, ramp work, lane reductions north of Stewart Avenue to Carpenter Road and steel beam/deck replacement on several bridges in the project areas.
“We are redesigning I-475 so that it meets safety standards and is better equipped to handle its current traffic volume,” said Block. “For instance, roadways will be banked at a steeper rate to help keep cars on the roadway. Lanes will be reduced from three to two in certain areas where there is less traffic and exit and entrance ramps will be extended to more comfortable lengths for drivers.”
Construction along I-475 from Bristol Road to Thread Creek is projected to begin in 2023 and last through 2024. MDOT is planning to address the Flint River to Carpenter Road project section from 2025 to 2026.
Both the I-69 and I-475 projects will be funded through Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $3.5 billion Rebuild Michigan road construction bond plan, with $84 million going for the I-69 project and around $300 million for the I-475 rebuilds.
To learn more about the Rebuilding Michigan Bond Financed Projects or to give public comment on future MDOT road projects, visit michigan.gov/mdot.