HNTB was hired by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to foresee the upgrade and transformation of the I-375 freeway into a boulevard that would give Detroit residents their city back. When the freeway was first built over 50 years ago, the construction leveled homes, displaced residents and shutdown businesses. This negatively impacted the surrounding communities, and HNTB Vice President Tony Migaldi believes that “by tackling that past, we can reconnect communities and develop peace making opportunities.”

HNTB and MDOT, along with other stakeholders, implemented virtual public involvement throughout the planning phase. The team visited churches, co-ops, small businesses and other local groups to gather feedback about the reconstruction.

Public engagement helped decide numerous details about the project, including:

  • The addition of a new interchange
  • The addition of cycle tracks along the boulevard
  • Other street extensions
  • Improvements to nearby intersections, including neighboring I-75

The plan is to convert the freeway to a surface level street, adding sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks and ramps that are compliant to Americans with Disability Acts (ADA) standards. Potential excess land will be available for use, and HNTB will work with the City of Detroit Planning & Economic Development Department to determine the strongest use for it.

The team will break ground in 2027 with a possible earlier start date if funding becomes available.

Location: Detroit, MI

Client: Michigan Department of Transportation

Awards: ACEC Michigan - Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award