LANSING, Mich. (December 6, 2023) — This week, Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Transportation to share her concerns and the concerns of Detroit residents regarding the I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project. Through this project, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to convert the I-375 freeway to a street-level boulevard. A Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study, conducted by MDOT, was completed in 2016. 

In 2016, Sen. Chang held a town hall meeting for the community to discuss the study and the six proposals at the time for the future of the roadway. She also conducted a door-to-door and online survey the following year. In early November of this year, Sen. Chang held another town hall meeting, and her team listened to the recent Detroit City Council Public Hearing. 

Sen. Chang‘s office has received numerous calls and correspondence about this issue. After listening to the town hall and communications from residents, Sen. Chang sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Transportation on December 5, 2023. In the letter, she highlighted the following concerns: 

  • Land Use   
  • Pedestrian Safety and Connectivity  
  • Honoring Black Bottom and Paradise Valley  
  • Impact on Businesses  
  • Transportation Modes  
  • Up-To-Date Traffic Analysis  
  • High Noise Levels  

“I lived in Lafayette Park for eight years, and I am a proud Detroiter,” said Sen. Chang, “What happened to families and business owners of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley decades ago was terrible. None of us can undo this painful part of our city’s history, but what we can do is work to ensure residents’ voices are better heard throughout the process of determining the future of this area, including the redesign of I-375. I look forward to continuing our communication with MDOT and hope that decisions about the design will be determined after the city’s neighborhood framework planning process is completed. I also hope MDOT will address the numerous concerns regarding pedestrian safety, noise levels, business impacts and more. My residents have made it clear that these concerns must be addressed for the sake of our neighborhood and to honor the descendants of Black Bottom.” 

 Construction is expected to start in 2025. Click here for a copy of the letter.