Major construction project at Detroit Metro Airport begins: What to know


ROMULUS, Mich. – A major construction project that will impact travelers at Detroit Metro Airport is set to begin Monday — and we’ve got all the information you need to know.

The Wayne County Airport Authority is set to begin a multi-project construction program on Detroit Metro Airport grounds that will impact traffic flows around both terminals for the next few years. The projects first phase was scheduled to start Monday, Jan. 8.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to improve the safety of our infrastructure critical to operations at DTW,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “We are committed to limiting the impact on our customers by working year-round to complete construction as quickly as possible.”

Here’s what you need to know to navigate the DTW construction

The program is centered on rehabbing roadway tunnels on Dingell Drive. The project is split up into multiple phases — the first one will start this month and run through February. The second phase will start in March 2024 and run through mid-2025.

Beginning Jan. 8, northbound and southbound traffic on Dingell Drive will be reduced to two lanes in each direction through February 29, 2024, weather permitting. Afterward, from March 2024 to mid-2025, northbound traffic on Dingell Drive will be reduced to one lane. All traffic will be shifted to the southbound side of the roadway and tunnels.

Here’s a look at both phases in map form:

Dingell Drive Tunnels and Roadway Rehabilitation – Phase 2 (WCAA)
Dingell Drive Tunnels and Roadway Rehabilitation – Phase 2 (WCAA)

The first project of the Dingell Drive Tunnels and Roadway Rehabilitation Program includes various improvements to the roadway surface, lighting, ventilation, fire protection, communications and monitoring systems, electrical systems and overhead signage, as well as structural repairs and storm-water collection improvements in the tunnels, in addition to other airport infrastructure.

The second project is in the planning stages and will address the rehabilitation of exterior drainage and waterproofing systems of the south and north tunnels. WCAA plans for the second project to start in 2025.

Construction will continue year-round until the anticipated conclusion in 2027. During this time, customers may experience delays while driving on the DTW campus. Departing travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and give themselves additional time to reach their gate. Access to parking decks, lots and the Westin hotel will not be impacted.

WCAA awarded the $85.5 million contract for the first project of the program to Toebe Construction in September 2023. The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which Congress passed in 2021, will fund most of the project.

Initially constructed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the three tunnels support the airfield runway and taxiway pavement above them and allow access to the McNamara Terminal.

Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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