The quality, or lack thereof, of the roads in Metro Detroit is notorious. Feeling your teeth clack together as you bounce over potholes and poorly patched roads is a normal occurrence for most Michiganders. However, the M-8 Service Drive is getting the serious facelift it needs.

The catalyst for this construction is Magna Seating Detroit, a global automotive supplier. Magna Seating has a facility located in Highland Park, and its trucks regularly use both the North and South M-8 service drives to ship products. Because the roads are in such bad shape, some of Magna Seating’s trucks and finished products have been damaged, according to the company.

Magna Seating Detroit considered expanding its operation elsewhere due to the poor road conditions, but Highland Park agreed to seek funding to reconstruct the service drives. As a result, Magna Seating Detroit plans to invest $5,989,000 in new equipment at its Highland Park facility. The company also plans to add 148 jobs.

A grant from the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A totaling $777,749 will leverage this $5,989,000 in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of nearly eight to one.

The City of Highland Park will reconstruct both directions of the Davison Freeway service drives from Oakland Avenue east to the city limits at the Detroit Connecting Railroad’s bridge. The total cost of this project is $1,010,849, including the $777,749 in TEDF funds and $233,100 in matching funds provided by the City of Highland Park.

“We appreciate the work of MDOT and its support of private investment and job creation through the Transportation Economic Development Fund,” said Frank W. Ervin III, senior director of Government Affairs for Magna International. “This program provides a way to target specific infrastructure challenges that would otherwise directly and negatively affect economic growth. The improvement of the Davison service drives will allow us to more easily support our customers from our Highland Park facility and make a positive economic impact in the community.”

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