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Should I-375 Become A Boulevard?

DETROIT (WWJ) – Big changes could be coming to the freeway in downtown Detroit.

State transportation officials met Monday with business and community leaders to discuss tentative plans to turn that part of the freeway into a boulevard.

The proposal would raise a portion of the road to grade level — think Woodward Avenue-style.  Supporters say it would make the area more pedestrian-friendly and help attract future development.

MDOT Director Kurt Steudle said the meeting was simply about gauging interest in the idea, and no definite decisions have been made.

“There’s no preconceived options and alternatives that we’re saying this is what it’s gonna look like,” Steudle said. “It really is about engaging the  community in what 375 should look like in the future.”

There’s no price tag on the idea right now, but officials say the freeway currently needs about $80 million for renovation and repairs — regardless of if the boulevard project moves ahead.

Steudle said state still has to come up with money for the planned construction, which is not expected to begin for several years.

“The conversations are just beginning and by no means has a final determination been reached,” said Steudlem. “This must be a collaborative process with a mix of ideas and broad engagement from those invested in the area.”

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