Second chance

If you weren’t able to attend the Michigan Department of Transportation hearing last month regarding its plan to expand I-375, you have a second chance. MDOT must hold another hearing because it failed to provide the public some environmental assessment documents related to the proposed project the first time around.

MDOT says the expansion will improve access to Detroit’s east waterfront and General Motors’ RenCen headquarters —not to mention the three casinos slated for the riverfront. But some fear that expanding I-375 may destroy any chance of restarting a commuter train line that used to run from Detroit to Pontiac. At least that’s the opinion of Karen Kendrick-Hands, co-founder of the group Transportation Riders United (TRU). The pro-transit group has also been battling MDOT over a $2.5-billion plan to upgrade about 11 miles of I-94 and about 45 miles of I-75. The rail line, by contrast, would cost about $130 million to rebuild and $24 million annually to run, according to Kendrik-Hands.

Let MDOT know what you think during the Jan. 18 hearing at Christ Church, 960 E. Jefferson. You have until Feb. 1 to mail, write, fax or e-mail comments to José A. Lopez, public hearings officer, Bureau of Transportation Planning, Michigan Department of Transportation, PO Box 30050, Lansing, MI 48909. Fax: 517-373-9255, E-mail:

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]