Michigan bills are aimed to allow the use of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on a stretch of I-75 in Oakland County.
There are currently no HOV lanes in Michigan. Instead, the state uses additional lanes (flex routes) that open during rush hours in certain locations.
On September 21, the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted to pass bills that would allow the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to build HOV lanes.
As part of the modernization project, MDOT planned a northbound HOV lane and a southbound HOV lane that will run from the site north of 12 Mile Road to South Boulevard. However, the agency does not have the authority to close lanes to any class of vehicle.
The lanes will be used as HOV lanes during rush hours, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. The exception will be emergency vehicles, law enforcement vehicles and motorcycles.
At other times, the lanes will be available to all vehicles.
MDOT said the new lanes are ready and will open as soon as state lawmakers allow them to be used. Modernization of I-75 will be carried out using federal funds.
The bills are waiting consideration in the Senate.
Lawmakers say the bill will help reduce pollution in the state by encouraging Michigan citizens to carpool while reducing the number of vehicles on highways.