Sep 16, 2022 - News

I-375 gets a Buttigieg boost

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event announcing $105 million in new federal grant money to help fund the reconstruction of I-375.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks at a news conference near I-375 in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office

A $105 million federal grant will help finance a long-planned project to replace milelong I-375 with a more pedestrian-friendly street-level boulevard.

Why it matters: The hard-to-traverse sunken interstate divides downtown from Lafayette Park and other areas to the east. It was built in the early 1960s by bulldozing over what were previously thriving Black neighborhoods and businesses.

Driving the news: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan and other leaders announced the funding yesterday alongside the downtown North American International Auto Show.

  • Movement toward the highway overhaul was slow, but it got a federal stamp of approval in March.
  • Work is now expected to start in 2025, two years sooner than previously expected.

What they're saying: "It's amazing how complicated it is to remove a federal freeway," Duggan said.

  • "When you have state leadership that understands the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure, and working with local leaders and local communities, that makes it that much easier for us at the federal level to be a good partner," Buttigieg said.

By the numbers: The $105 million grant comes out of the $1.5 billion Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program. Michigan asked for $180 million originally, out of a total project cost of $300 million, Crain's Detroit Business reports.

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