Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Grid restoration at 375/Jefferson Previous Next
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 72
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My friend's dad works at the RenCen and he said he's heard of some plans--nothing finalized, obviously--to 'restore' the grid that the construction of 375 destroyed. That is, the 375 'ditch' would be filled in, and 75 would empty out onto Gratiot. South of Gratiot would just be surface streets. Mullet, Clinton, Macomb streets, etc, would be re-connected to Rivard on the other side of the freeway. Possibly Hastings Street would be 'restored' in place of the 375 ditch. Has anyone else heard word of this?
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Southen
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Username: Southen

Post Number: 74
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That would be a very expensive endeavor. I guess it would depend on who was funding this.
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Detroitstar
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Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 419
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think I-375 is an important link to Jefferson Ave. I would not mind seeing a cap, but an infill of the spur would be a negative, IMO.

(Message edited by DetroitSTAR on January 08, 2007)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2316
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 9:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've thought of this, too. This would be great in terms of re-urbanizing that area, but where does the money for such a public works project come from, and how far will downtown and other housing redevelopment in Detroit have to come before we can justify adding surface area for development? This ain't Boston, where they got away with the Big Dig. We still have a downtown that is half parking lot, and the general vicinity on the lower east side is a low-mid density landscape, which could of course be re-urbanized itself (i.e. redevelop Lafayette Park to be on the old grid, leaving the towers, of course)
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Pistonian_revolution
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Username: Pistonian_revolution

Post Number: 68
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

whatever it takes- whoever has to pay for this- this would be wonderful. i wish jane jacobs wouldve been a detroiter. maybe then we wouldnt have all of these terrible freeways digging canyons through our wonderful city.
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Futurecity
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Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 439
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Freeways are evil. Cars are evil. Restore the grid. Restore transit lines. Restore walkable streets and neighborhoods.
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Detroitstar
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Username: Detroitstar

Post Number: 420
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What would be the point of restoring the grid right there? Anything built would end up having parking lots or ramps anyway-it's not like we would see any sort of big urban development.

Plus, do you really think Greektown would let this happen, considering the ramp at Lafayette is vital to their business?
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 883
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Clinton and Macomb streets I'm not to sure about, but I absolutely think they should still cut off Mullet.
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Atl_runner
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Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1956
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 1:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had heard this a few years ago. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I also remember hearing that the idea was put on the back burner until development deemed it necessary. The riverfront casino's were the original Catalyst.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 285
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 1:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It would be a good start at slowing the traffic around there.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 209
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 1:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well a few years back they had plans for extending 375 that they later decided not to do. This new plan would obviously be a complete reversal, so I doubt that it would happen.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 703
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 3:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Clinton and Macomb streets I'm not to sure about, but I absolutely think they should still cut off Mullet."

Excellent wordplay!

The preferred alternative for adding the ramp would have straightened out Jefferson and restored a couple of blocks to the south.

It would not return the hastings St N of Jefferson.

The project was pulled several years back when Granholm decided to focus more on repairing the roads we have instead of capacity projects.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2317
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bringing back Hastings St. would almost be an act of racial reparations.

Charlottepaul, how could one extend 375 any further? It leads right into the Lodge under Cobo. It has to come up to surface level somewhere so that one can access downtown, and this is what happens in a four block stretch from Brush to Griswold.
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 73
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the info everyone. So it sounds like this is not likely.

What are the chances of seeing large 'caps' between overpasses on I-75, I-375, and the Lodge (esp. on each side of Woodward, near Greektown, at Fort St. and the Lodge)??? This kind of project has to be way cheaper than re-configuring the entire expressway, and it would provide the city with some nice public plazas and increase connectivity to downtown without hindering expressway traffic.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 161
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's too bad that they couldn't make a tunnel out of 75 and 375, but after all of the disasters in Boston, I wouldn't want to try it.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 2318
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the most likely case has to be capping the Fisher freeway to link Brush Park and downtown better.

there are no exit ramps along this stretch, making it very simple.

(Message edited by mackinaw on January 08, 2007)
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 163
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 4:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's my point. It practically already is a tunnel, with the way it's shaped.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 704
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 5:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The freeway would not be extended. Access would be changed so that Jefferson would not get clogged with cars and allowing better access to the Riverfront making it more attractive for development. A ramp would be added to the south with a couple of blocks of Hastings street to end at the Riverfront.

Sorry but in the post 9-11 world freeways are no longer capped for long distances. Homeland Security would have a fit to have a capped freeway so close to the border.

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on January 08, 2007)
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3413
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 5:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that the use of already limited resources for roadways would be a big waste of money for this idea. There's other more pressing issues for our road dollars (such as fixing up Atwater and West Jefferson (the west riverfront from the Main Post Office westward).

Both the Chrysler and Lodge Freeways terminate at Jefferson, and that'll probably be the way it will be for a long time to come.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 164
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 5:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amen. When those condos are finally built on Atwater, the road won't exist by the end of it from the equipment, so better to keep some money in hand.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2001
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 6:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ending the Jefferson feed into 375 would improve the walkability of the area in front of the UDM Law School. As of now, you have to walk all the way over to Beaubien to get to the south side of Jefferson or walk over the freeway to the service drive to get to the south side of Jefferson.

The problem I also ran into when considering this idea is where the freeway would end. Like Gsgeorge suggested, 375/75 southbound would have to end at Gratiot like it does around Eastern Market. The area south of Gratiot to Jefferson would be a large surface street.

All of this would take drivers a little longer to get around but the walkability quotient would more than double.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1509
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 6:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul brings up the excellent point that there are two diametrically opposed plans being discussed here. A "grid restoration" would improve walkability (and possibly land values) at the expense of traffic flow, and the original MDOT I-375 plan from 2000 would do more or less the opposite.

There is no official street grid restoration plan that I know of... the only I-375 plan is the MDOT plan listed here, and also described in this article, which has been put on indefinite hold.

My suspicion is that perhaps Gsgeorge's friend at the RenCen misinterpreted the MDOT plan as a plan to restore the street grid. The only reference I can find to a "plan" to restore the I-375 street grid is a somewhat wishful-thinking oriented project on TRU's website from a few years ago.

Or, I suppose it's possible that the original MDOT plan has been radically altered so that there is some aspect of street grid restoration?
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 4524
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 7:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm still thinking about all those walkers, where are they? Most of the time I'm the only one on the sidewalk, everyone else is going to or from their cars.
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1242
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 7:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's because that place sucks for walking ;)
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 707
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 11:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At the Time the project was reviewed by the City Planning Commission and approved, contingent on working out some final details (Page 9).

http://www3.ci.detroit.mi.us/l egislative/BoardsCommissions/C ityPlanningCommission/docs%20f or%20posting/2001-02%20CPC%20b iennial%20report.pdf
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Aaron
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Username: Aaron

Post Number: 117
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While we're on the subject, does anyone know how Hastings Street south of Jefferson was renamed Schweizer Place?
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Mayor_sekou
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Username: Mayor_sekou

Post Number: 383
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why dont they do the same for the lodge if cobo is eventually relocated, which I HOPE happens.
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Bob_cosgrove
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Username: Bob_cosgrove

Post Number: 451
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While we're at it, let's rebuilt the Detroit Museum of Art, which was removed when the interchange was routed on the south side of East Jefferson.

Bob Cosgrove
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Neilr
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Username: Neilr

Post Number: 425
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 9:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aaron, my best guess is that it was renamed after a German restaurant, Schweizer's which was in business in that spot for several decades.
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Planner_727
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Username: Planner_727

Post Number: 75
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 9:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Capping of I-75 or I-375 would not be anything like the "Big Dig" in Boston. The Boston project took surface freeways and effectively dug a tunnel deep underground with earth on top of it. "Capping" the freeway, especially given that it is already sunken 16'+, would merely include building a bridge-like structure across the freeway to support a plaza, building, or whatever development might take place.

If the Brush Park neighborhood really continues its activity and the area SW side of Woodward develops with high density residential as well, a developer-supported cap adjacent to the cross-streets (i.e. Woodward) is not out of the realm of possibility.

The same could be done on I-375, in segments, as development is proposed. Simply capping it to cap it would be economically irresponsible and a waste. The current development pattern on the NE side of I-375 is not very high density and really wouldn't be filling in a 'gap' in development. The urban renewal eliminated many of the grid streets anyhow. Essentially, those streets (including the Mullet) would get extended one block.

Given the location of the Casino expansion, if Greektown ever wanted to expand that way, a cap may be worthwhile for Monroe, but that would also require a reconfigured ramp at Lafayette.
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 345
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 9:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that restoring the grid would be an excellent idea. In the city of Detroit, where sidestreets are closed and built upon and demoted often by private people, (thus making it a lot harder to get from point A to point B if the road you were hoping to take suddenly has a scrap yard in the middle of it or something) it would be nice to see some of the grid restored. I would be willing to bet that development would not be too slow through this area. And straightening out Jefferson would be nothing but grand - all those 375 bridges need some serious work!
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 181
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 9:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pardon me if I am not up on transportation terminology, but what exactly does "capping" a freeway mean? Thanks!
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Planner_727
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Username: Planner_727

Post Number: 76
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 10:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Capping" is covering a sunken (built below grade, but not covered) freeway with a platform. Basically building a bridge over the freeway, but for buildings or parks instead of roadway. If you are familiar with I-696 west of I-75 in Oak Park and Southfield, those freeways are capped in three segments and covered with parks.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 826
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 11:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Planner_727 wrote,

"Capping"...would merely include building a bridge-like structure across the freeway to support a plaza, building, or whatever development..."

That would be adequate for a park, parking lot, or maybe small building. But if you're going to build anything substantial, you'd have to drive columns through the cap to the real ground. Those columns would go right through the freeway, and I doubt that putting them only through the center jersey barrier and along the shoulders would be adequate.
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Planner_727
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Username: Planner_727

Post Number: 77
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 11:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not an engineer so I can't say for sure what the exact load, etc. is for the support columns. However, right here in Detroit, the Lodge goes under COBO, which is a 3 story building with parking on the roof above it. The buildings on the cap can be effective in extending the general form of buildings along Woodward or any other street with a low- to mid-rise building that would seemingly be supportable with support columns that only drive down on the ends and in the median barrier.

(Message edited by Planner_727 on January 09, 2007)
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 827
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 11:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I remembered Cobo a few seconds after I posted that message.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1511
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent points, Planner_727. While I'd rather move in the general direction of restoring street grids instead of removing them, it's kind of a waste of money for I-375 at this point. There are much better things to spend infrastructure dollars on, such as transit.

Adding a few caps to I-75 around Brush Park is a cheaper and more useful possible project. Also, I don't see any major homeland security issue with this, since we're only talking about a couple of blocks. It would be a pretty short tunnel, and you could add plenty of vents, etc.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2017
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would capping really be a homeland security issue? I mean, you do realize there is an interstate highway tunnel and rail tunnels directly west of the U.S. Capitol....
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 762
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dan, as you know, there is always a reason why things can't be done in Detroit.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 288
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 1:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I-95/the Cross Bronx Expwy runs right underneath 2 high rise apartment buildings when it cuts through Manhattan to the Bronx from the George Washington Bridge.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 709
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 1:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Planner_727 wrote,

"Capping"...would merely include building a bridge-like structure across the freeway to support a plaza, building, or whatever development..."

Merely and bridge-like structures are inconsistent adverbs. Bridges are complex animals, besides load bearing, you have to worry about water runoff, paying for it, span, and of course the amount of opportunity for terrorist activity as deemed by the dept of homeland security this week (as opposed to last year, or six months from now).
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2018
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While the result of capping would be desirable, it is an incredibly expensive endeavor from an engineering perspective. These are not typical bridges--a "cap" with building structures on it has tremendous loads compared to a road-only bridge. Not to mention that building structures on a bridge introduces other considerations--like wind and seismic loading--that the bridge structure will have to resist.

FWIW, Columbus has a cap over one of its downtown freeways. The people in the area would like to see more, but ODOT is hesitant, due to the expense.

And really--let's drop the homeland security BS. Detroit isn't exactly high on anyone's list of targets. If they still build bridges in other cities, you can still build a bridge (or tunnel) in Detroit. Does U.S. Customs no longer guard the border at Detroit/Windsor???
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 290
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 1:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Detroit isn't exactly high on anyone's list of targets."

I wouldn't say that.
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 4533
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Talked to a friend who lives there about this thread, he was a tad upset about the possibility of a street running through his living room.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1317
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 6:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Toll booth time, baby!
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3417
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner, you are correct in your assessment about bridges being "funny animals".

The state (MDOT) has had a lot of problems with the 3 overpasses over I-696 in Oak Park/Southfield. I remember one year seeing 4 foot tall water icicles hanging from underneath the overpass (in the middle lanes!). And those are only used as park plaza areas, and not bearing the load of buildings on top.

Hell they can't even get the lighting to always work correctly in those tunnels!
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Dnvn522
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Username: Dnvn522

Post Number: 171
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 8:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The I-696 plazas were incorrectly designed. They have other issues besides just the inadequate drainage. Even if a plaza is correctly designed, they are not meant to support buildings on them. Any buildings built over the plazas would support themselves through independent piles and columns.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1513
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 12:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I wouldn't say that adding caps to I-75 would be "easy" exactly... but I'd guess it would still be cheaper and less disruptive than completely filling in a freeway and restoring the street grid, the other "plan" being discussed here.

I'm assuming these caps would not be built to support buildings, which seems like a very expensive and fairly pointless option. They could be small parks/plazas or similar, connecting the CBD to midtown.

Anyhow, I'm not expecting to see any caps in the near future, but long term, who knows?
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 189
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 1:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks to Planner, Burnsie and others for the discussion of capping. I had not been familiar with the terminology, but have definitely ridden under capped parts of freeways (though sometimes it's hard to tell whether they were capped later an built that way).

(Message edited by cman710 on January 10, 2007)

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