Interstate 275 forms a western bypass of Detroit from north of Monroe to Romulus, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DET), Canton and Livonia. The freeway was originally planned to reconnect with Interstate 75, following a path just west of West Bloomfield and Waterford. It was not completed as U.S. 23 already provided a long distance bypass between Toledo, Ohio and Flint.
I-275 traverses mostly rural areas of northeastern Monroe County to the east of Carleton into semi-rural areas of western Wayne County. The freeway leads north to Eureka Road (Exit 15), which provides access to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DET) for travelers originating from Monroe and Toledo to the south. The route shifts westward from the airport perimeter to cross paths with Interstate 94 in Romulus.
The remainder of Interstate 275 north parallels Haggerty Road as a commuter route along a mixture of industrial areas, apartment complexes and business parks. A large directional cloverleaf interchange at Livonia brings Interstate 96 north onto I-275 west from the Jeffries Freeway opposite the M-14 freeway west to Ann Arbor. The two routes share approximately 5.7 miles of pavement north along a commercialized corridor to Farmington Hills and Novi. I-275 ends at a large interchange complex where I-96 resumes a westward heading to Lansing, I-696 ties in from Southfield to the east and M-5 intertwines from Farmington to Novi.
The mileage for Interstate 275 was not included in the initial 1,080-mile Interstate system proposed by the state of Michigan in 1954. Area growth in the Detroit suburbs however made the route a necessity. Construction for the entire 58-mile route of Interstate 275 was estimated to cost $95 million and planned to start in segments between January 1970 and July 1971. The Monroe County portion was scheduled for bidding between February and June 1971.1
As originally envisioned, Interstate 275 was to lead north from I-75 at Newport to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Romulus where it would swing west for about three miles then continue north to Plymouth and Northville to meet I-75 again midway between Detroit and Flint. 14 interchanges were proposed on the 30-mile freeway between I-75 and Interstate 96 in Oakland County.1
Construction along Interstate 275 ran through 1977. The final 26-mile section ran north from U.S. 24, north of Monroe, to M-153 (Ford Road) in Wayne County. The $250-million project was completed on January 13, 1977 with six overall lanes. The last section built tied into a three-mile stretch between I-75 and U.S. 24 and the 11-mile section north to I-696 at Novi that both opened in 1976.2
The remaining 24-mile segment of proposed Interstate 275 leading north from I-696 to I-75 northwest of Pontiac was canceled in 1977. Protests from Oakland County residents cited that the route was not necessary and that it would take away from needed agricultural and recreational land. The projected path also took I-275 through a 200-acre wetland that was home to the southernmost stand of black spruce in North America. Planners subsequently shifted attention to the upgrading of U.S. 233