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City of Detroit taking over highway cleanup efforts from MDOT

Posted at 5:48 AM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 06:56:59-05

(WXYZ) — The garbage lining Detroit freeways is an unfortunate reality for those living in the city, but a change could be on the way.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is in charge of cleaning the highways, but in March, the City of Detroit is taking over.

MDOT will be allocating the city $650,000 annually to take over the job.

We went out to take a look at the state of some of the freeways. We found much of the same when it comes to trash, and then some. For instance, there was a mattress on the exit ramp at Wyoming from The Lodge Freeway, and don't forget the tires.

“It’s a big problem, constantly a big problem," Leonard Jakaj, the owner of Olympia Coney Island off I-94 and Chalmers, said.

“What is it like for you owning a business here and seeing all this trash?” I asked.

“It’s really difficult because you’re always trying to keep a real nice clean business for your costumers and trying to keep a nice establishment but when you have all the dirt and debris constantly coming up, it is like a battle you can’t win," Jakaj said.

Brad Dick works for the City of Detroit as the group executive of service and infrastructure. Starting in March, he and his team will be taking over clean-up efforts.

“Well I hope people see immediate results by the time we finish our first cycle of trash collection, I would imagine it is probably going to take throughout the month of March," Dick said.

He said the trash should be picked up right away, with more mows planned to cut the grass.

This spring, on I-94 between Wyoming and I-96, more than 1,100 trees will be planted and about 2,000 shrubs, with more planting planned in the year to come.