|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:|
October 2, 2002
Contacts: Jennifer Kopp
Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Michigan Department of Transportation
More Than $280 Million Committed to Revitalize I-94 Corridor
Taskforce Formed to Oversee Beautification
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today announced plans to invest more than $280 million in revitalizing I-94 from Metropolitan Airport to downtown Detroit. This funding will be used for road improvements and beautifying this 18-mile stretch of the I-94 corridor.
MDOT has currently invested more than $126 million in the I-94 corridor and has proposed $145.8 million in investment for 2003–2007 projects.
"During the next 10 years, every mile of I-94, from I-275 to 8 Mile Road, will be improved," said State Transportation Director Gregory J. Rosine. "This is one of our most heavily traveled sections of highway. The importance of this substantial investment cannot be overstated."
Representatives from the MEDC, MDOT, Wayne County, City of Detroit, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Detroit business community will partner together on the I-94 beautification program.
About $8.5 million in public and private sector funds will be invested to beautify and enhance the I-94 corridor from Merriman Road to the Cobo Tunnel through a series of enhancement projects.
“The I-94 corridor is the first impression many business and leisure travelers have of Michigan,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “The beautification, enhancement and road improvement efforts on I-94 will ensure that their journey is as first class as the rest of the state.”
A private sector task force, Detroit Regional Gateways Advisory Council, headed by Larry Yost, chairman and CEO of ArvinMeritor, Inc., will work with adjacent I-94 properties to further the beautification of I-94, raise private funds and oversee the plan’s implementation.
“Creating a welcoming environment for Michigan visitors is critical to the economic revitalization of the Metro Detroit area,” Yost said. “Even more critical, is establishing a positive working relationship between the public and private sector to accomplish this task. As a longtime advocate for southeastern Michigan as a place to live and do business, I am proud to have been chosen to lead the private sector’s involvement in this historic cooperative effort.”
The proposed road rehabilitation scheduled for I-94 in 2003 includes: $1 million to resurface eastbound and westbound I-94 between Wayne Road and Beech Daly, $12 million to rehabilitate and widen eastbound and westbound I-94, and replace two bridges, from just east of I-275 to Wayne Road and $11 million to resurface eastbound and westbound I-94 between Wyoming and I-96 interchange in Detroit.
The beautification will be performed through a series of four projects. These projects include the improvement of natural landscape features through plantings, lighting enhancements, aesthetics of bridge structures and creative barriers, utilizing landscaping rather than concrete. The first project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2003, with an estimated summer of 2004 completion date for the final project.
Wayne County has agreed to contribute $200,000 annually to support a special maintenance fund that will commence in 2005 in support of the I-94 project.
“I-94 is one of Michigan's most important corridors,” said Edward H. McNamara, Wayne County executive. “We have made significant public investments at Metro Airport and also in downtown Detroit with Ford Field and Comerica Park. This collective effort to beautify I-94 will tie these two bookends together.”
The city of Detroit has also pledged assistance to the project. The city has offered $50,000 to support annual maintenance costs to help beautify I-94.
“The revitalization of I-94 is an example of what public-private partnerships can do to move Detroit and this region forward,” said Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.“By the year 2006, visitors to our downtown will experience a new and vibrant Detroit.”
Larry Alexander, president and CEO, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau conveyed the importance of this project to the area’s visitors. “We've all focused on the Super Bowl in 2006, but that's not our only deadline,” Alexander said. “Having this effort completed before the Ryder Cup comes to town it will be a wonderful boost for us. This announcement also helps boost our chances for landing the 2004 Democratic National Convention, because it signals that this city, the metro region, and state will make the changes necessary to make visitors feel very welcome here.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
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