Posts Tagged ‘I-75’

Mexicantown’s Bagley Bridge Update

Monday, February 16th, 2009

img_2058The Detroit News is now reporting that the Gateway Project, including the Bagley Pedestrian bridge “could be completed in August instead of MDOT’s initial forecast of December.”

That’s great news for those who want a calmer, safer biking option over I-75 in the Mexicantown area.

And this is not going to be just another run-of-the-mill pedestrian bridge, as we noted earlier. It will be suspended and showcase local artists.

The recent construction photo (taken last Friday) on the right confirms the impressive design as well as the progress being made. That tower on the right will hold the cables suspending the bridge.

According to the January 2009 Gateway Project newsletter:

Q. What structures will the Gateway Project crew focus on for now?

A: We’ll be working on the Bagley Avenue pedestrian bridge and the Vernor Avenue bridge throughout the winter months.

We’re looking forward to the ribbon cutting, which may even occur before the Tour de Troit.

In the meantime, here’s an animated video showing what the bridge will look like.

The Potential Downside to the Economic Stimulus

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

There’s been a big push by many groups to get Green projects in the Obama economic stimulus package.  We’ve already mentioned the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s push.  The DNR Parks division has submitted about a quarter-million in infrastructure projects.  The Detroit Greenways Coalition has their trails submitted as well.

That’s all the good news.

The fear however is this stimulus package will also fund a significant amount of road expansion.


While many states are keeping their project lists secret, plans that have surfaced show why environmentalists and some development experts say much of the stimulus spending may promote urban sprawl while scrimping on more green-friendly rail and mass transit.

“It’s a lot of more of the same,” said Robert Puentes, a metropolitan growth and development expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington who is tracking the legislation. “You build a lot of new highways, continue to decentralize” urban and suburban communities and “pull resources away from transit.”

And decentralizing/sprawl also hurts bikability and walkability.

Some local concerns involve planned expressway expansion, notably I-75 in Oakland County and I-94 in Detroit.  Neither project made financial sense long before the recent declines in vehicle miles traveled.  Now they make less sense.

And they’re certainly not green, but they might get in the stimulus package.

The I-94 project is especially bad in that it would remove nine bridges over the expressways — permanently blocking bicycle routes within Detroit’s non-motorized transportation master plan.

And because the highway expansion was planned before the non-motorized plan, MDOT is ignoring the latter.  However, reading their Final Environmental Impact Statement only shows that MDOT wasn’t going to let non-motorized priorities get in the way of an expressway expansion.

That said, there’s not too much we can do until MDOT’s economic stimulus list becomes public and we see what’s on the list.