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Interstate 375 (Michigan)

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Interstate 375 marker

Interstate 375
Walter P. Chrysler Freeway
I-375 highlighted in red, BS I-375 in green
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-75
Maintained by MDOT
Length1.062 mi[2] (1.709 km)
ExistedJune 12, 1964 (1964-06-12)[1]–present
Major junctions
South end BS I-375 in Detroit
North end I-75 in Detroit
Highway system

Interstate 375 (I-375) is a north-south Interstate Highway in the city of Detroit, Michigan, United States. At only 1.062 miles (1.71 km) in length, it once had the distinction of being the shortest signed Interstate Highway in the country. It is the southernmost leg of the Walter P. Chrysler Freeway and a spur of I-75 into downtown Detroit, ending at the unsigned Business Spur Interstate 375 (BS I-375), better known as Jefferson Avenue. The freeway opened on June 12, 1964. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced in 2013 that it may remove I-375 in the future.

Route description[edit]

I-375 and the Chrysler Freeway begin at Jefferson Avenue between St. Antoine Street and Beaubien Street in downtown Detroit near the Renaissance Center.[3] They run east before turning north. Just about a mile (1.6 km) after the southern terminus, I-375 meets the Fisher Freeway which carries I-75 north of downtown. At this interchange, I-75 takes ramps to leave the Fisher Freeway and use the Chrysler Freeway, replacing I-375. I-375 is a four-lane freeway south of the I-75 interchange, where it widens to six lanes.[4] The entire length of I-375 is included on the National Highway System,[5] a network of roadways that are important to the country's economy, defense, and mobility.[6]

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), I-375 is 1.062 miles (1.709 km).[2] At the time it opened until at least 2007, I-375 was the shortest signed Interstate in the country.[1] Based on FHWA data, there are three Interstates that are shorter: I-110 in Texas (0.92 mi or 1.48 km), I-878 in New York (0.70 mi or 1.13 km) and I-315 in Montana (0.83 mi or 1.34 km).[7] The latter two designations are not signed on their respective roadways,[8] and I-110 in Texas has since been signed.[9]

Every year, MDOT conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. In 2009, MDOT calculated that 14,112 vehicles per day used the southernmost section of I-375, on average, and 53,900 vehicles used the northernmost section near I-75. These vehicles included 798 trucks.[10]


Construction on the first segments of the Chrysler Freeway started on January 30, 1959.[11] The area where the freeway was built was called Black Bottom, a historic district that received its name from the soil found there by French explorers.[12] In the 1940s and 1950s, the area was home to a community of African-American entrepreneurs and businesses that rivaled Harlem in New York City. Black Bottom was one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and at the time of freeway construction, it had wooden sewers and dilapidated buildings.[13] In the 1950s and 1960s, many lower-class African-American residents lived in overcrowded and run-down housing in Black Bottom. These residents could not afford to maintain their homes because of their low income, leading outsiders to view the area as neglected and in need of updating and development.[14] The area, like Corktown to the west of downtown, was targeted by urban planners for urban renewal and infrastructure improvements in the 1950s and 1960s, which included the Chrysler Freeway and public housing projects.[13]

On June 12, 1964, a surface street highway/freeway in Detroit that ran north from Jefferson Avenue and Randolph Street to the Fisher/Chrysler freeway interchange was opened.[1][10] The southernmost segment, built through the Black Bottom neighborhood,[15] was designated I-375 at this time.[1][10] The freeway cost $50 million to build (equivalent to $321 million in 2019[16]).[15]

In April 2013, MDOT announced that it was studying whether to repair the freeway at a cost of $80 million or convert the freeway south of Gratiot Avenue into a boulevard to reduce maintenance cost. This change would make the area more pedestrian-friendly and bring new developers and residents into the neighborhood. Converting this segment of the freeway and its right-of-way to a boulevard would free up 12 acres (4.9 ha) of land for development.[17] The department invited businesses and other groups affected by the potential project to participate in the study in November 2013. Advocates of the conversion cite increased pedestrian access and an improved connection between Eastern Market and downtown as reasons to remove the freeway.[15] Also, because the freeway has outdated geometric conditions, such as ramp widths and curvature, the high crash rates and congestion of I-375 are used to support the freeway's removal.[18] Some people who live or work along the freeway and in the downtown area note the improved access I-375 provides to the area as reasons to retain the freeway.[15]

Six alternative proposals for rebuilding I-375 were unveiled by MDOT in June 2014. They ranged in price from $40 million to $80 million. These options included rebuilding the freeway as is, reducing it to a boulevard or multiple one-way streets, or upgrading the existing freeway right-of-way to include bike lanes and other pedestrian-friendly features.[19] In January 2016, the department announced that any decision on a course of action would be delayed indefinitely.[20] However, in May 2017, MDOT announced it was going forward with an environmental assessment to identify a preferred alternative.[21] In December 2017, the department announced that they were down to two alternatives, both of which involved replacing the freeway with a boulevard.[22] Both alternatives presented included a four-lane surface boulevard between Gratiot Avenue and Atwater Street. As of September 2019, planning efforts for the conversion of I-375 into a surface street are ongoing.[18]

Exit list[edit]

The entire highway is in Detroit, Wayne County. All exits are unnumbered.

0.0000.000Jefferson Avenue west – Civic Center
0.4300.692Jefferson Avenue eastSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
0.6891.109Lafayette AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
0.9191.479 I-75 south (Fisher Freeway) – Toledo
M-3 (Gratiot Avenue via Fisher Freeway)
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.0621.709 I-75 north (Chrysler Freeway) – Flint
Madison Street
Northbound exit to and southbound entrance from I-75, exit 51C; southbound exit to and northbound entrance from Madison Street
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Business spur[edit]

Business Spur Interstate 375
Length0.167 mi[2] (0.269 km)

The unsigned Business Spur Interstate 375 (BS I-375), which is 0.167 miles (0.269 km) long, continues west on Jefferson Avenue from the southern end of I-375, ending at the entrance to the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel at Randolph Street (M-3). Jefferson Avenue past that intersection is M-10.[2] BS I-375 runs next to the Renaissance Center and under a segment of the People Mover.[4] This designation was created in 1964.[1][a] The 2009 traffic surveys by MDOT reported that 33,376 vehicles, including 922 trucks, had used BS I-375.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The section of Jefferson Avenue that connects I-375 with M-10 is combined with the freeway as I-375 on MDOT right-of-way (ROW) maps that document property transfers and ROW descriptions,[23] but in the department's Physical Reference Finder Application, the street is marked as BS I-375,[2] a designation missing from the official state map for the public.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (2006). "Today in Interstate History: June 12, 1964". The Interstate is 50. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Michigan Department of Transportation & Michigan Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships (2009). MDOT Physical Reference Finder Application (Map). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Greenwood, Tom (May 10, 2006). "Both Directions of I-375 in Detroit Will Close Today". The Detroit News. p. 2A. ISSN 1055-2715. OCLC 137348716.
  4. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Transportation (2013). Pure Michigan: State Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:221,760. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Downtown inset. § H13. OCLC 42778335, 861227559.
  5. ^ Federal Highway Administration (August 2003). National Highway System: Detroit, MI (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  6. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 26, 2013). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  7. ^ Federal Highway Administration (October 31, 2002). "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. OCLC 47914009. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  8. ^ Rand McNally (2013). The Road Atlas (2013 Walmart ed.). Chicago: Rand McNally. ISBN 0-528-00626-6. OCLC 773666955.
    • "Montana" (Map). 1:190,080. pp. 60–1. Great Falls inset. § N16.
    • "New York: New York City" (Map). 1:126,720. pp. 72–3. New York City & Vicinity inset. §§ J13–14.
  9. ^ Texas Department of Transportation (2010). I-110, US 54, I-10 and US 180 (Highway guide sign). El Paso, TX: Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d Bureau of Transportation Planning (2008). "Traffic Monitoring Information System". Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  11. ^ Barnett, LeRoy (2004). A Drive Down Memory Lane: The Named State and Federal Highways of Michigan. Allegan Forest, MI: Priscilla Press. p. 233. ISBN 1-886167-24-9. OCLC 57425393.
  12. ^ Binelli, Mark (2012). Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis. New York: Metropolitan Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8050-9229-5. OCLC 753631067 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ a b Gallagher, John (December 15, 2013). "When Detroit Paved over Paradise: The Story of I-375". Detroit Free Press. pp. 17A, 18A. ISSN 1055-2758. OCLC 10345127, 137343179. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  14. ^ Sugrue, Thomas J. (1996). The Origins of the Urban Crisis. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12186-9.[page needed]
  15. ^ a b c d Gallagher, John (November 24, 2013). "I-375: Walk? Or Drive?". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1A, 12A. ISSN 1055-2758. OCLC 10345127, 137343179. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  16. ^ Thomas, Ryland & Williamson, Samuel H. (2020). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved September 22, 2020. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  17. ^ Gautz, Christ (April 29, 2013). "Among Ideas to Revamp I-375: A Boulevard". Crain's Detroit Business. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  18. ^ a b I-375 Advisory Committee (September 17, 2019). "I-375 Improvement Project Meeting Summary" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Gallagher, John (June 8, 2014). "Reimagining I-375: Choose from 6 Ways to Rebuild or Replace the Detroit Expressway". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1A, 10A. ISSN 1055-2758. OCLC 10345127, 137343179. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  20. ^ Gallagher, John (January 26, 2016). "What Next for I-375? Final Decision Delayed". Detroit Free Press. pp. 3A, 8A. ISSN 1055-2758. OCLC 10345127, 137343179. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  21. ^ Morosi, Rob (n.d.). "MDOT Hosting Open House to Discuss Next Steps on I-375 Environmental Study in Detroit" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  22. ^ Gallagher, John (December 5, 2017). "MDOT Moving Ahead with Plan to Rip Out I-375". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1A, 11A. ISSN 1055-2758. OCLC 10345127, 137343179. Retrieved July 13, 2018 – via
  23. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (February 11, 2010). "Wayne County" (PDF) (Map). Right-of-Way File Application. Cartography by Gosselin Group. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Sheet 173. Retrieved April 11, 2014.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata